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appelle aceessoire, 1 estatdes affaires de ceste vie caduque et transitoire. J appelle 
uioipal, le gouvernement spirituei auquel reluit souverainement la providence de 

accessory I mean the state of affairs in this fading and transitory life. I?y 
inaipatl I mean the spiritual government in wbich the providence of (Jod is s<;ve- 
ignly displayed.: 









LITERARY men in France, Switzerland, Germany, and England, 
urged on by a spirit of examination and research, are constantly 
enquiring after the original documents on which modern histoiy is 
founded. I wish to contribute my mite to the accomplishment of 
the important task which our age appears to have undertaken. 
Hitherto I have not deemed it enough to peruse contemporary 
historians. I have interrogated eye-witnesses, private letters, and 
original narratives, and made use of some manuscripts, particularly 
that of*Bullinger, which has since been printed. (Frauenfield, 

The necessity of having recourse to unpublished documents be 
came more urgent on approaching, as I do in the twelfth book, the 
Reformation of France, with regard to which, in consequence of the 
continual turmoil in which the reformed church of that country has 
lived, we have only a few printed memoirs. In the spring of 1838, 
I endeavoured, as far as was in my power, to examine the manu 
scripts of the public libraries of Paris ; it will be seen that a manu 
script of the Eoyal Library, hitherto I believe unknown, throws 
great light on the first stages of the Eeformation. In the autumn 
of 1839, 1 consulted the manuscripts in the library of the consistory 
of pastors of Neufchatel, a collection which is very rich in regard 
to this period, from a bequest of the manuscripts of Farel s library, 
and through the kindness of the proprietor pfMeuron, I obtained the 
use of the manuscript life of Farel by Choupard, into which the 
greater part of these documents have been transcribed. These 
manuscripts have enabled me to remodel one entire section of the 
Reformation in France. In addition to this assistance, and that 
famished by the library of Geneva, I made an appeal, through tlie 


medium of the Archives du Christianisme, to all the friends of his 
tory and the Reformation, who may have any manuscripts at their 
disposal, and I here express my gratitude for different communi 
cations which have been made to me, in particular by the Rev. 
Mr. Ladeveze of Meaux. But though religious wars and perse 
cutions have destroyed many precious documents, there doubtless 
still exist in different parts of France several which would be of 
essential service to the history of the Reformation, and I earnestly 
entreat all who may possess or have any knowledge of them to 
have the goodness to communicate with me on the subject. Docu 
ments of this nature are felt in our days to be common property, 
and, therefore. I hope that this appeal will not be in vain. 

It will perhaps be thought that in writing a general history of 
the Reformation, I have entered too much into detail on its first 
beginnings in France. But these beginnings are little known : the 
events which form the subject of my twelfth book occupy only 
three or four pages in the Histoire Ecclesiastique des Eglises Re- 
formees au Royaume de France, by Theodore Beza, while other 
historians confine themselves almost entirely to political develop 
ments. It is true that in this part of my work I have not been 
able to describe scenes so imposing as the Diet of Worms. Never 
theless, independent of the religious interest attached to it, the 
humble but truly divine movement which I have attempted to de 
scribe, had perhaps more influence on the destinies of France than 
the celebrated wars of Charles V and Francis I. In a large ma 
chine the result is often produced not by the parts which make th e 
greatest appearance, but by the most hidden springs. 

Complaints have been made of the delay which has taken place 
in the publication of this third volume. Some would even have 
had me not to print the first before the whole was completed. 
There may be certain superior intellects to which conditions may 
be prescribed, but there are others whose feebleness must give 
conditions, and to this class I belong. To publish a volume at one 
time, at another time when I am able a second volume, and 
then a third, is the course which my primary duties and hum 
ble abilities allow me to take. Other circumstances, moreover, 
have interposed; severe afflictions have on two occasions inter 
rupted the composition of this third volume, and concentrated all 
my affections and all my thoughts on the tomb of beloved children. 


The thought that it was my duty to glorify the adorable Master, 
who addressed those powerful calls to me, and accompanied them 
with so much divine consolation, could alone have given me the 
courage necessary to prosecute my labours. 

These explanations seemed due to the kindness with which this 
work has been received in France, and especially in England, where 
the fourth edition of a translation is about to appear, beside two 
others in smaller form, which I am told are in course of prepara 
tion. Owing to this, no doubt, the Journal des Debats, in an article 
signed M. Chasles, has announced this history of the Reformation 
as an English work. I set a high value on the approbation of the 
protestant Christians of Great Britain, the representatives of 
evangelical principles and doctrines in the most remote regions of 
the globe, and I beg to assure them that I feel it to be a 
most valuable encouragement to my labours. The first book of 
the fourth volume will be devoted (God willing) to the Reforma 
tion of England and Scotland. 1 

The cause of truth recompenses those who embrace and defend 
it ; and so it has proved with the nations who embraced the Reforma 
tion. In the eighteenth century, at the moment when Rome was 
anticipating her triumph through her Jesuits and scaffolds, victory 
slipt through her hands. Rome, like Naples, Portugal, and Spain, 
fell into interminable difficulties, while at the same time two protes 
tant kingdoms arose in Europe, and began to exercise an influence 
which till then had belonged to Roman Catholic states. England 
came forth victorious from the Spanish and French assaults, which 
the pope had so long stirred up against her, and the Elector of 
Brandenburg, in spite of the wrath of Clement XI, encircled his 
head with a royal crown. From that period England has extended 
her dominion in every quarter of the world, and Prussia has taken 
a new rank among continental states, while a third power also 
separated from Rome, viz. Russia was growing up in her immense 
deserts. In this way evangelical principles have exerted their 
influence on the countries which have received them, and by righte 
ousness nations have been exalted. Let evangelical states be well 
assured that to protestantism they owe their greatness. Should 

1 The last book of the present ought, perhaps, to have formed the commencement 
of a succeeding volume. It seemed better, however, to introduce the Reformation 01 
France into the third volume, though the effect has been to make it about 150 pages 
larger than each of the other two. 


they abandon the position which God has given them, or incline 
anew towards Rome, that moment they lose their power and 
glory. Home is now striving to gain them ; alternately em 
ploying flattery and threatening, she would, like Delilah, lull them 
asleep upon her knees . . . but it is to rob them of their locks, that 
thus their enemies may be able to put out their eyes, and bind 
them with fetters of iron. 

Herein, too, is a great lesson for France, with which the author 
feels himself so intimately connected through his forefathers. Should 
France, like her diiferent governments, incline anew to the papacy, 
our belief is, that it will prove the signal of great disasters. Every 
one who attaches himself to the papacy will be compromised in its 
downfall. France has her only prospect of strength and greatness 
in turning towards the gospel. May this great truth be understood 
by rulers and people ! 

In our day, it is true, there is great activity in the papacy. 
Though attacked by an inevitable consumption, she would fain, by 
showy colours and feverish paroxysms, persuade others, and per 
suade herself, that she is still full of vigour. An attempt of this 
kind has been made by a theologian of Turin, in a treatise occasion 
ed by this history, and in which it is pleasing to recognise a certain 
talent in presenting proofs, however feeble, with an air of candour 
to which we are little accustomed, and in a manner by no means of 
fensive, notwithstanding of the sad and culpable facility with which 
the author, in his twelfth chapter, revives accusations against the 
Reformers, the falsehood of which has been completely demon 
strated, and is generally acknowledged. 1 

We will give an example, referring to matters contained in the 
present volume. James le Vasseur, doctor of Sorbonne, and 
canon and dean of the church of ISToyon, wrote Annals of the 
Church of Noyon, (1633,) in which he is at a loss for epithets 
against our Reformer, and only consoles himself by the thought 
that Saint Eloi gave Calvin the mortal blow, (p. 1164). After say 
ing that the Reformer in early life held benefices in the Church of 
Noyon, the canon in proof of this quotes a declaration of James Des- 
may, also a doctor of theology, in his " Life of Calvin the heresiarch," 

1 LA PAPACTE consideree dans son Origine et dans son Developpement au moyen 
age, <m Reponse aux Allegations de M. Merle d Aubigne dans son Histoire de la lie- 
formation au Seizieme Siecle, par I abbe C. MAGNIN, docteur en theologie, Geneve, ohet 
s. 1840. 


who, after a very careful examination of every thing relating to 
the Reformer, says, " I have been unable to discover ANYTHING ELSE 
in the same registers" (Annales de Noyoii, p. 1162). Then the 
devout historian of the Church of Noyon, after pouring out all his 
wrath on Calvin and all the members of his family, without men 
tioning a single act of the Reformer at variance with morality, but 
contenting himself with simply observing, that to call him heresiarch 
is to charge him with the sum of all crimes (ib.) adds a XC VI chapter, 
entitled, " Of another John Cauvin, chaplain Vicar of the same 
church of Noyon, NOT A HERETIC," in which he says, " Another 
John Cauvin presented himself and was admitted to our choir at a 
vicarial chapel, but was shortly after dismissed for his incontinence, 
punishment having been repeatedly inflicted to no purpose. He 
was vicar for the diocese, and the belief of our old people is, that 
he served the cure of Trachy-le-Val in this diocese in the capacity 
of vicar, and then died a good catholic. He was, nevertheless, 
beaten with rods when in custody, as Desmay writes in his little 
book, pp. 39, 40, and yet he was a priest not subject to such 
discipline. He has, therefore, fallen into a blunder, taking this 
man for another vicar, also chaplain, named Baldwin le Jeune, 
doubly young in name and in manners, who had not then entered 
the priesthood or taken any holy orders. The conclusion of the 
capitulary is as follows : .... Quod Balduinus, le Jeune capel- 
lanus vicarialis, . . . pro scandalis commissis, ordinarunt prafati 
domini IPSUM C^EDI VIRGIS, quia pueret nondum in sacris consti- 
tutus. I thought it my duty (continues the dean of Noyon) to add 
this chapter to the history of the first Calvin, ad diluendam homo- 
nymiam, (to guard against the similarity of names,) lest the one 
should be taken for the other, the catholic for the heretic." Thus 
speaks the canon and dean of Noyon, pp. 1170, 1171. Now what 
is done by Doctor Magnin and the writers of the papacy whom he 
quotes ? They announce quite gravely that Calvin was banished 
from his native town for bad conduct ; that being convicted of a 
horrible crime, ho would have been condemned to be publicly burnt 
had not the burning been commuted, at the prayer of the bishop, 
into scourging and branding with a hot iron, etc. (La Papaute, 
p. 109.) Thus, in spite of all the pains which the dean of Noyon 
took to add a chapter for fear the one should be taken for the other, 
the catholic for the heretic, the writers of the papacy uniformly 


attribute to the Eeformer the misdeeds of his namesake. The 
thought uppermost with the canon of Noyon was the fair fame of 
this John Calvin who died a good catholic, and he trembled lest he 
should be charged with the heresy of Calvin. Accordingly he 
draws the distinction between them very clearly, giving the heresies 
to the one, and the incontinence to the other. But the result is the 
very opposite of what he anticipated. It is not " the heresy of 
Calvin" that has brought opprobrium on John Cauvin,but the in 
continence and chastisement of JohnCauvin are brought forward for 
the purpose of throwing opprobrium on the Reformer. And such 
is the way in which history is written ! such, we will not say the 
bad faith, but the levity and ignorance of the apologists of the 
papacy ! These blunders occur in the writings of men otherwise 
respectable, and who ought to have nothing in common with the 
hateful name of calumniator. The present volume gives a true ac 
count of the early life of Calvin. 

M. Audin, as a sequel to his History of Luther, has recently pub 
lished a History of Calvin, written under the influence of deplorable 
prejudice, and in which it is difficult to recognise the Reformers 
and the Reformation. 

Perhaps, on another occasion, we shall make some addition to 
what we have said in our first book on the origin of the papacy. 
It were out of place to do it here. 

I will only remark in general, that the human and natural causes 
which so well explain its origin are precisely those to which the 
Papacy appeals in order to demonstrate its divine institution. 
Thus Christian antiquity declares, that the universal episcopate 
was committed to all the bishops, so that the bishops of Jerusalem, 
Alexandria, Antioch, Ephesus, Rome, Carthage, Lyons, Aries, Mi 
lan, Hippo, Cesarea, etc., took an interest in whatever occurred 
throughout the Christian world. Shortly after Rome appropriated 
to herself this duty, which was incumbent on all, and arguing as if 
it were her concern only, converts it into a demonstration of her 

We give another example. The Christian churches established 
in the great towns of the empire sent missionaries to the countries 
to which they stood related. This was done first of all by Jeru 
salem, then by Antioch, Alexandria, Ephesus, and at length by 
Rome; and Rome forthwith concluded, from what she did after 


others and less than others, that she was entitled to set herself 
above all others. These examples will suffice. 

Let us only observe further, that in the West Kome alone en 
joyed the honour which in the East was shared by Corinth, Phi- 
lippi, Thessalonica, Ephesus, Antioch, and in a far higher degree 
by Jerusalem, 1 the honour of having had one or more apostles 
among her first teachers. Hence the Latin churchfs must naturally 
have had a certain degree of respect for Rome. But never would 
the eastern Christians, though they honoured her as the church 
of the political metropolis of the empire, acknowledge in her 
any ecclesiastical superiority. The celebrated general Council of 
Chalcedon assigned to Constantinople, previously the obscure By 
zantium, the same privileges (ra "<ra. ^<ra) as Rome, and de 
clared that it was entitled to equal dignity. Accordingly, when 
the papacy was distinctly formed in Rome, the East showed no 
desire to acknowledge a master of whom it had never heard ; and 
standing on the ancient territory of catholicity, abandoned the 
West to the domination of the new sect which had risen up within 
its bosom. The East still styles herself, by way of pre-eminence, 
catholic and orthodox, and when the question is asked at one of 
these eastern Christians, whom Rome has united to herself by 
means of numerous concessions, "Are you a Catholic?" "No," 
he immediately replies, " I am papistian " (papist). Journal of 
the Rev. Joseph Wolf. London, 1839, p. 225. 

If this History has been subjected to criticism from the Romish 
party, it has also been subjected to it in a literary point of view. 
Individuals for whom I entertain great respect appear to attach 
more importance to a political or literary history of the Reformation, 
than to an exposition which points out its spiritual principles and 
moving springs. I can understand this manner of viewing the sub 
ject, but I cannot adopt it. In my opinion, the essentials of the Re 
formation are its doctrines and inward life. Any work in which 
these do not occupy the first place, may be brilliant, but will not 
be faithfully and candidly historical. It will resemble a philoso 
pher, who, wishing to describe man, should with great accuracy 
and graphic beauty explain every thing that relates to his body, 

1 St. Epiphanius says that our Lord committed to James the greater at Jerusalem 
his throne on (arth (rov 8-govov O-VTOV \-ffl TJJJ y?j) - and speaking of bishops assembled 
at Jerusalem, he declares that the whole world (cravra xoffftev) ought to submit to 
Jieir authority. (Epiph. Hseres., 70, 10-78, 7.) 


Out should give only a subordinate place to the divine inmate, the 

There are many defects, doubtless, in the feeble work of which I 
here present a new fragment to the Christian public, but the greatest 
defect I see in it is, that it does not breathe still more of the spirit of 
the Reformation. The more I succeed in calling attention to what 
manifests the glory of Christ, the more faithful I am to history. I 
willingly adopt as my law those words which a historian of the 
sixteenth century, still more celebrated as a warrior than a writer, 
after giving a part of the history of Protestantism, of which I do 
not purpose to treat, addresses to those who should think of com 
pleting his task, " I give them the law which I take to myself, and 
it is, that while seeking the honour of this precious instrument, 
their principal aim should be the glory of the arm which prepared, 
employed, and wielded it at pleasure. For all the praises given to 
princes are unseasonable and misplaced, if they have not for their 
aim and foundation that of the living God, to whom belong hon 
our and dominion for ever and ever." 

Eiux-Vivr.s, near Geneva, Feb. 1841. 



FIRST KEFORMS. (1521, 1522.) 



Progress of the Reformation New Period Advantages of Luther s 
Captivity Agitation of Germany Melancthon and Luther 
Enthusiasm, _..--- 


Luther in the Wartburg Object of his Captivity Agonies Sick 
ness Labour of Luther On Confession To Latomus Walks. 17 


Reformation begins Marriage of Feldkirchen Marriage of 
Monks Theses Writes against Monachism Luther ceases to 
be a Monk. ---_-, -23 


Archbishop Albert The Idol of Halle Luther apears Terror at 
the Court Luther to the Archbishop The Archbishop s Reply 
Joachim of Brandenburg. - - - - 27 


Translation of the Bible Wants of the Church Principles of the 
Reformation Alarm at Court Luther to the Archbishop 
Temptations of the Devil Condemnation of the Sorbonne 
Melancthon s Reply Visit to Wittemberg. - - - 32 


New Reforms Gabriel Zwilling on the Mass The University 
The Elector Monachism attacked Emancipation of the Monks 
Disturbances Chapter of the Augustins The Mass and Carl 
stadt First Supper Importance of the Mass in the Roman 
System. - - - - - 37 


Spurious Reform The new Prophets The Prophets at Wittemberg 
Melancthon The Elector Luther, Carlstadt, and Images 
Disorders Luther sent for He hesitates not Dangers. - 46 


Departure from the Wartburg New Position Luther and Pri 
mitive Catholicism Meeting at the Black Bear Luther to the 
Elector Return to Wittemberg Discourses at Wittemberg 
Charity the Word How the Reformation was effected Faith 
in Christ Effect Didymus Carlstadt The Prophets Con 
ference with Luther End of the Struggle. - - 54 




Translation of the New Testament -Faith and Scripture Opposi 
tionImportance of Luther s Publication Need of a Systematic 
Exposition Melancthon s CommonPlaces Original Sin Salva 
tion Free-will Effect of the Common Places. - - 83 


Opposition Henry VIII Wolsey The Queen Fisher Thomas 
More Luther s Books burnt tlenry attacks Luther Presenta 
tion to the Pope .Effect on Luther Force and violence His 
book Reply of the Bishop of Rochester Reply by More Step 
by the King. - - 7fi 


General Movement The Monks How the Reformation is Accom 
plished Ordinary Believers The Old and the New Teachers 
Printing and Literature Booksellers and Hawkers. - 80 


Luther at Zwickau The Castle of Freyberg Worms Frankfort 
Universal movement Wittemberg, the centre of the Reformation 
Luther s sentiments. - - - - - - 92 




Political element Want of Enthusiasm at Rome Siege of Pam- 
peluna Courage of Inigo Transformation Luther and Loyola 
Visions The two principles. - - 98 


Victory of the Pope Death of Leo X Oratory of Divine Love 
Adrian VI Schemes of Reform Opposition. - - 105 


Diet of Nuremberg Invasion of Solyman The Nuncio demands 
the Death of Luther The Preachers of Nuremberg Promise of 
Reform National Grievances Decree of the Diet Thundering 
Letter of the Pope Luther s Advice. - - - - 109 


Persecution Efforts of Duke George The Convent of Antwerp 
Miltenberg The three Monks of Antwerp The Scaffold 
Martyrdom at Brussels. - - - - -116 


New Pope The Legate Gampeggio Diet of Nuremberg Demand 
of the Legate Reply of the Diet Project of a Secular Council 
Alarm and Efforts of the Pope Bavaria League of Ratisbon 
Rigour and Reform Political Schisms Opposition Intrigues 
of Rome Edict of Bruges Rupture. - - - - 1 22 



Persecution Gaspard Tauber A Bookseller Cruelties in Wur- 
temberg, Salzburg, Bavaria, Pomerania Henry of Zuphten, - 128 


Divisions Lord s Supper Two Extremes Carlstadt Luther 
Mysticism of the Anabaptists Carlstadt at Orlamund Mission 
of Luther Interview at dinner Conference of Qrlamund Carl 
stadt banished, - - 133 


Progress Resistance to the Leaguers Meeting between Philip of 
Hesse and Melancthon The Landgrave gained to the Gospel The 
Palatinate, Luneburg, Ilolstein The Grand Master at Wittemberg, 139 


Reformers The Church of All Saints Fall of the Mass Litera 
ture Christian Schools Science offered to the Laity Arts 
Moral Religion, Esthetical Religion Music Poetry Painting, 142 


Political ferment Luther against Revolution Thomas Munzer 
Agitation The Black Forest The Twelve Articles Luther s 
Advice Helfenstein Advance of the Peasants Advance of the 
Imperial Army Defeat of the Peasants Cruelty of the Princes, 149 


Munzer at Mulhausen Appeal to the People March of the Princes 
End of the Revolt Influence of the Reformers Sufferings 
Change, - - - - - - lo 


Two Issues Death of Frederick The Prince and the Reformer 
Catholic Alliance Projects of Charles Dangers, - 1C5 


The Nuns of Nimptsch Luther s Feelings End of the Convent 
Luther s Marriage Domestic Happiness, - 168 


The Landgrave The Elector Prussia Reformation Secularisa 
tion The Archbishop of Mentz Conference of Friedewalt Diet 
Alliance of Torgau Resistance of the Reformers Alliance of 
Magdeburg The Catholics redouble their efforts Marriage of 
the Emperor Threatening Letters The two Parties, - - 173 




Unity in Diversity Primitive Faith and Liberty Formation of 
Roman Unity A Monk and Leo Juda Theses of Zuinglius 
The Discussion of January, - - - - -181 


Caresses of the Pope Progress of the Reformation The Image of 
Stadelhofen Sacrilege The Ornaments of the Saints, - -186 



The October Discussion Zuinglius on the Church The Church 
First Outline of Presbyterianism Discussion on the Mass 
Enthusiasts A Voice of Wisdom Victory A characteristic of 
the Swiss Reformation Moderation Oswald Myconius at Zurich 
The Revival of Letters Thomas Plater of the Valois, - 189 


Diet of Lucerne Hottinger arrested His Death Deputation of 
the Diet to Zurich Abolition of Processions Abolition of Images 
The two Reformations Appeal to the People, - - 195 


New Opposition GExlin carried off The Family of the Wirths 
The Mob at the Convent of Ittingen The Diet of Zug The 
Wirths seized and given up to the Diet Condemnation, - 201 

. CHAP. VI. 

Abolition of the Mass Zuinglius Dream Celebration of the Lord s 
Supper Brotherly Charity Original Sin The Oligarchs against 
the Reformation Divers Attacks, - 207 


Berne The Provost of Watteville First Successes of the Reforma 
tion Haller at the Convent Accusation and Deliverance The 
Monastery of Konigsfeld Margaret of Watteville to Zuinglius . 
The Convent open Two opposite Champions Clara May and 
the Provost of Watteville, - - -211 


Basle (Ecolampadius He goes to Augsburg He enters the Con 
vent-He returns to SickingenReturns to Basle Ulric Von Hutten 
His projects Last Effort of Chivalry-Hutten dies at Uffnan, 217 


Erasmus and Luther Uncertainty of Erasmus Luther to Erasmus 
Work of Erasmus against Luther on Free Will Three Opinions 
Effect on Luther Luther on Free Will The Jansenists and 
the Reformers Homage to Erasmus Rage of Erasmus The 
Three Days, - - 222 


The Three Adversaries Source of the Truth Anabaptism 
Anabaptism and Zuinglius Constitution of the Church Prison 
The Prophet Blaurock Anabaptism at St. Gall An Anabaptist 
Family Dispute at Zurich The limits of the Reformation 
Punishment of the Anabaptists, -282 


Popish Immobility Protestant Progression Zuinglius and Luther 
Zuinglius and the Lord s Supper Luther s great Principle 
Carlstadt s Writings Prohibited Zuinglius s Commentary The 
Suabian Syngram Capito and Bucer Need of Unity in Di- 
rersity, - - - - - - 238 




The Tockenburg An Assembly of the People Reformation The 
Grisons Discussion of Ilantz Results Reformation at Zurich, 245 


Executions Discussion at Baden Rules of the Discussion Riches 
and Poverty Eck and (Ecolampadius Discussion Part taken 
by Zuinglius Boasting of the Romans Insults of a Monk 
End of the Discussion, - - - 249 


Consequences at Basle, Berne, St. Gall, and other places Diet at 
Zurich The Small Cantons Menaces at Berne Foreign Aid, 254 


THE FRENCH. (1500-1526.) 


Universality of Christianity Enemies of the Reformation in France 
Heresy and Persecution in Dauphiny A Gentleman s Family 
The Family Farel Pilgrimage to St. Croix Immorality and 
Superstition William desires to become a Student, - - 259 


Louis XII, and the Assembly of Tours Francis and Margaret The 
Literati Lefevre His teaching at the University Lefevre and 
Farel meet Doubts and Inquiries of Farel First awakening 
Prophecy of Lefevre He teaches Justification by Faith Objec 
tions Irregularities in Colleges Effects on Farel Election - 
Holiness of Life, - - - - - - 265 


Farel and the Saints The University Conversion of Farel Farel 
and Luther Other Disciples Date of the Reformation in France 
The different Reformation spontaneous Which is the First ? 
Place due to Lefevre, - - - 274 


Character of Francis I Beginning of Modern times Liberty and 
Obedience Margaret of Valois The Court Brigonnet, Count 
of Montbrun Lefevre applies to the Bible Francis I and his. 
"Sons" The Gospel brought to Margaret A Conversion 
Adoration Character of Margaret. - - 278 


Enemies of the Reformation Louisa Duprat Concordat at Bo 
logna Opposition of the Parliament and the University The Sor- 
bonne Beda His character His Tyranny Berquin, the most 
learned of the nobles The Leaders of the Sorbonne Heresy of 
the three Magdalenes Luther Condemned at Paris The Sor 
bonne addresses the King Lefevre quits Paris for Meaux, - 286 


Brigonnet visits his Diocese Reformation The Reformers Prose 
cuted at Paris Philibert of Savoy .Correspondence of Margaret 
and Brioonnet, - 293 

First beginnings of the Church of Meaux -The Scriptures in French 



The Tradesmen and the Bishop Evangelical Harvest The 
Epistles of St. Paul sent to the King Lefevre and Roma .The 
Monks before the Bishop The Monks before the Parliament 
Brigonnct yields, - - 300 


Lefevre and Farel Persecuted Difference between the Lutheran 
and Reformed Churches Leclerc puts up his Pancartes Leclerc 
Branded Zeal of Berquin Berquin before the Parliament 
Francis I saves him Apostacy of Mazurier Fall and grief of 
Pavanne Metz Chatelain Peter Toussaint becomes attentive 
Leclerc breaks Images Condemnation and Torture of Leclerc 
Martyrdom of Chatelain Flight, - - - 307 


Farel and his brothers Farel driven from Gap He preaches in the 
fields Chevalier Anemond of Coct The Minorite Anemond 
quits France .Luther to the Duke of Savoy Farel quits France, 318 


Catholicity of the Reformation Friendship of Farel and CEcolam- 
padius -Farel and Erasmus Altercation .Farel calls for a Dis 
cussion Theses Scripture and Faith Discussion, - - 328 


New Campaign Calling of Farel to the Ministry An advanced 
post Lyons an Evangelical Focus Sebville at Grenoble Con 
venticles Preaching at Lyons Maigret in Prison Margaret 
intimidated, - - 329 


The French at Basle Encouragement of the Swiss Fear of dis 
union Translations an d Printing Presses at Basle Bibles and 
Tracts circulated in France, - 335 


Progress at Montbeliard Opposition and Disturbance Toussaint 
quits (Ecolampadius The day of the Bridge Death of Anemond 
Successive Defeats, ------ 310 


Francis taken at Pavia Reaction against the Reformation Louisa 
consults the Sorbonne Commission against the Heretics Bri- 
gonnet denounced Appeal to the Assembled Parliament Fall 
Reconciliation Lefevre accused Condemnation and flight Le 
fevre at Strasburg Lo,uia de Berquin incarcerated Erasmus 
attacked Schuch at Nantz His Martyrdom Contest with Ca- 
roli Sadness of Pavanne His Faggot Pile A Christian Hermit 
Concourse at Notre Dame. - - 345 


A Scholar of Noyon Character of young Calvin Early Education 
He is devoted to Theology The bishop gives him the tonsure 
He quits Noyon because of the Plague The Reformation cre 
ates new languages Persecution and terror Toussaint put into 
prison Persecution gives new strength Death of Du Blet, Mer 
lin, and Papillon God saves the Church -Project of Margaret 
Departure for Spain, - , - - - 365 








Progress of the Reformation New Period Advantages of Luther s Captivity Agita 
tion of Germany Melancthon and Luther Enthusiasm. . . . 

FOUR years had elapsed since an ancient doctrine had again 
been preached in the church. The great doctrine of salvation by 
grace formerly published in Asia, Greece, and Italy, by Paul and 
his brethren, and again after several centuries discovered in the 
Bible by a monk of Witteniberg, had echoed from the plains of 
Saxony to Eome, Paris, and London, and the lofty mountains of 
Switzerland had repeated its energetic accents. The fountains of 
truth, liberty, and life had been again opened to humanity. Crowds 
had repaired thither and quaffed with joy, but those who had press 
ed forward and taken the draught had preserved their former 
appearance. All within was new, and yet all without seemed to 
have remained as before. 

The constitution of the Church, its ritual, and discipline, had not 
undergone any change. In Saxony, at Wittemberg even, in every 
place where the new ideas had penetrated, the papal worship gravely 
continued its pomp ; the priest at the foot of the altar, in offering 
the host to God, seemed to produce an ineffable transformation ; 
monks and nuns entered convents to undertake obligations that 
were to bind them for ever ; pastors lived not as heads of fami 
lies, brotherhoods assembled, pilgrimages were performed ; the 


faithful hung up their votive offerings on the pillars of chapels; 
and all ceremonies, even to the most insignificant formality of the 
sanctuary, were celebrated as before. There was a new doctrine 
in the world, but it had not given itself a new body. The language 
of the priest formed a striking contrast to the proceedings of the 
priest. He was heard thundering from the pulpit against the mass 
as an idolatrous worship, and then seen descending and taking his 
place before the altar, to celebrate this pompons ceremony with 
scrupulous exactness. Every where the new gospel resounded be 
side the ancient ritual. The priest himself did not perceive the 
strange inconsistency, and the people who listened with acclama 
tion to the bold discourses of the new preachers, devoutly observed 
their ancient customs as if they were never to abandon them. At 
the domestic hearth and in social life, as in the house of God, every 
thing remained the same. There was a new faith in the world, 
but not new works. The season of spring had appeared, but win 
ter seemed still to hold nature in chains ; no flowers no leaves 
nothing external gave indication of the new season. But these ap 
pearances were illusory ; a potent, though hidden sap was already 
circulating beneath, and on the eve of changing the world. 

To this course, a course fraught with wisdom, the Reformation 
perhaps owes its triumphs. Prior to the actual accomplishment 
of any revolution there must be a revolution in thought. The 
inconsistency already alluded to did not even strike Luther 
at the first glance. He seemed to consider it quite natural that, 
while men were receiving his writings with enthusiasm, they 
should at the same time remain devotedly attached to the abuses 
which these writings attacked. It might even be thought that he 
had traced out his plan beforehand, and resolved to produce a 
change of minds before introducing a change of forms. This r how 
ever, were to ascribe to him a wisdom the honour of which belongs 
to a higher source. He executed a plan which was not of his own 
devising. These matters he was able at a later period to acknow 
ledge and comprehend, but he had not imagined them, and accord 
ingly had not regulated them. God took the lead ; Luther s part 
was to follow. 

Had Luther begun with an external reform : had he, immediately 
after he had spoken, attempted to abolish monastic vows, the mass, 
confession, and the existing forms of worship, he should undoubt 
edly have encountered the keenest opposition. Man must have 
time before he can adapt himself to great revolutions. Luther was 
by no means the violent, imprudent, rash innovator that some his 
torians have represented. 1 The people seeing nothing changed la 

1 See I-Iiune, etc. 


the routine of their devotions, committed themselves without distrust 
to their new leader. They were even astonished at the attacks 
directed against a man who left them their mass, beads, and confes 
sor, and attributed these attacks to the grovelling jealousy of obscure 
rivals, or the cruel injustice of powerful adversaries. Meanwhile 
Lather s ideas aroused the minds of men, improved their hearts, and 
so undermined the ancient edifice that it soon fell of its own accord, 
without any human hand. Ideas do not act instantaneously: they 
make their way in silence, like water which, filtering behind rocks, 
detaches them from the mountain on which they rest : all at once 
the work done in secret manifests itself, and a single day suffices 
to display the work of several years, perhaps several ages. 

A new era in the reformation commences. The truth is already 
re-established in doctrine, and doctrine is now going to re-estab 
lish the truth in all the forms of the church and of society. The agi 
tation is too great for men s minds to remain fixed and immovable at 
the point at which they have arrived. On those dogmas which have 
been so powerfully shaken depend customs which are beginning to 
give way, and which must disappear along with them. There is 
too much courage and life in the new generation to feel under con 
straint in the presence of error. Sacraments, ritual, hierarchy, 
vows, constitution, domestic life, public life, all are about to be 
modified. The ship which has been slowly and laboriously built 
is about to leave the dock and be launched on the vast ocean. We 
shall have to follow its track across numerous perils. 

The captivity of the Wartburg separates these two periods. Pro 
vidence, which designed to give a mighty impulse to the Refor 
mation, had prepared its progress by leading him who was selected 
to be the instrument of it into profound retirement. For a time the 
work seemed buried with the workman ; but the seed must be de 
posited in th*>- earth in order to produce fruit, and from the prison 
which seemed destined to be the Reformer s tomb the Reformation 
is going to come forth to make new conquests, and rapidly diffuse 
itself over the whole world. 

Hitherto the Reformation had been concentrated in the person 
of the Reformer. His appearance before the Diet of Worms was 
undoubtedly the sublimest moment of his life. His character then 
appeared almost exempt from blemish, and hence it has been s aid, 
that if God who hid the Reformer during ten months within 
the walls of the Wartburg had, at that moment, withdrawn him 
for ever from the eye of the world, his end would have been a kind 
of apotheosis. But God wills not an apotheosis for his servants ; 
and Luther was preserved to the Church in order that he might 
show by his very faults that the faith of Christians must be founded 


oil the word of God alone. He was abruptly transported far from 
the scene where the great revolution of the sixteenth century was in 
course of accomplishment ; the truth which he had for four years 
so powerfully preached continued in his absence to act upon Chris 
tendom, and the work of which he Avas only a feeble instrument 
thenceforth bore not the impress of a man but the seal of God 

Germany was moved by the captivity of Luther. The most 
contradictory reports circulated throughout her provinces. Men s 
minds were more agitated by the absence of the Reformer than 
they would have been by his presence. Here it was affirmed that 
friends, who had come from France, had set him in safety on the 
other bank of the Rhine. 1 There it was said that assassins had 
put him to death. Even the smallest villages were anxious for 
information about Luther; the passing traveller was interrogated, 
and groups assembled in the market place. Sometimes an un 
known orator gave the people an animated narrative of the manner 
in which the doctor had been carried off; he showed the barbar 
ous horsemen binding fast the hands of their prisoner, hastening at 
full speed, dragging him on foot behind them, wearing out his 
strength, shutting their ears to his cries, causing the blood to spring 
from his fingers. 2 " The dead body of Luther," added he, u has 
been seen pierced with wounds." 3 Then cries of grief were heard. 
" Ah," said the multitude, " no more shall we see, no more shall 
we hear the noble-minded man whose voice stirred our hearts." 
The friends of Luther muttering wrath swore to avenge his death. 
Women and children, the lovers of peace, and the aged looked for 
ward with alarm to new struggles. Nothing could equal the ter 
ror of the partisans .of Rome. The priests and monks, thinking 
themselves sure of victory, because one man was dead, at first had 
been unable to conceal their joy, and had raised their heads with 
an insulting air of triumph, but now they would gladly have fled 
far away from the wrath and threats of the people. 4 These men, 
who, while Luther was at liberty, had given free vent to their fury, 
trembled now that he was captive. 5 Aleander especially was in 
consternation. " The only means of safety now left us," wrote a 

1 Hie . . . invalescit opinio, me essc ab amicis captum Francia missis. (L. Ep. ii, 
5.) Here JIM opinion gains ground that I was taken away by friends who had been 
sent from France. 2 Et iter festinantes cursu equitis ipsum pedestrem 

raptim, tractum fuisse ut sanguis e digitis eruui])eret.(Cuch. 3 J.) And while the horse 
men hastened on at speed, he was dragged behind on foot, so that the blood sprang 
from his fingers. 3 Fuit qni it-status sit, visum a se Lutheri cadaver trans- 

fossum. (Pallav. Hist. Cone. Trid. i, p. 122.) There was one who declared that he 
had seen Luther s body pierced with wounds. * Molem vulgi imminentes 

ferre non possum. (L. Ep. ii, p. ]" ) Are unable to withstand the threats of the com 
mon people. 5 Qui me libero insanierunt nunc, me captivo ita formidant ut 
iueipiant mitigare. (Ibid.) They raged when I was free, but m,w that I am a cap 
tive begin to soi ten from terror. 



Roman Catholic to the Archbishop of Mentz, "is to kindle torches 
and make a search for Luther over the whole world, in order to re 
store him to the wishes of the nation." l It might have been said 
that the Reformer s ghost, all pale, and clanking its chains, had ap 
peared to spread terror and demand vengeance. The general ex 
clamation was, " Luther s death will cause torrents of blood to 
flow!" 2 

No where were the minds of men more deeply agitated than at 
Worms itself; energetic measures were proposed both among people 
and princes. Ulrich von Hiitten and Hermann Busch filled the 
country with their plaintive songs and warlike cries. Chartes V 
and the nuncios were loudly accused. The nation took up the 
cause of the poor monk, who by the power of his faith had become 
its chief. 

At Wittemberg, his colleagues and friends, Melancthon especi 
ally, were at first astounded with grief. Luther had imparted 
to this young scholar the treasures of that sacred theology which 
had thenceforth completely filled his soul. It was Luther who had 
given substance and life to the purely intellectual culture which 
Melancthon had brought to Wittemberg. The profundity of the 
Reformer s doctrine had struck the young Hellenist, and his cour 
age in maintaining the rights of the eternal word against all human 
authority, had filled him with enthusiasm. He had been associ 
ated with him in his work ; he had seized the pen, and in that 
admirable style which he had derived from the study of antiquity, 
had successfully, and with a powerful hand, lowered the authority 
of the Fathers and the authority of Councils before the sovereign 
Word of God. 

The decision which Luther had in action Melancthon had in 
science. Never were more diversity and more unity exhibited in 
two individuals. " Scripture," said Melancthon, " imparts to the 
soul a holy and marvellous delight. It is a heavenly ambrosia." s 
" The Word of God," exclaimed Luther, " is a sword, a war, a 
destruction ; it springs upon the children of Ephraim like the lion 
ess in the forest." Thus, in Scripture, the one saw a power of 
consolation, and the other an energetic opposition to the corruption 
of the world. Both held it to be the greatest thing on earth, and 
hence they understood each other perfectly. " Melancthon," said 
Luther, " is a miracle : all now acknowledge this. He is the most 
formidable enemy of Satan and the schoolmen, for he knows their 

1 Nos vitam vix redempturos, nisi accensis candelis xmdique eum requiramus. 
(Ibid.) We shall scarcely ransom our lives unless \ve Ifcht candles and search for 
liim every where. 2 GerbelL Ep. in MSS. Ileckelianis Lindner Leb. Luth. 

p. 241. 3 Mirabilis in iis voluptas. immo ambrosia quoedam ccelestis. (C rp. 

Ref. i, 323.* There is a wondrous pleasure in them (the Scriptures,) nay a kind of 
heavenly ambrosia. 


folly, and the rock which is Christ. This little Greek surpasses 
me even in theology : he will be as useful to you as many 
Luthers." And he added, that he was ready to abandon an opinion 
if Philip did not approve of it. Melancthon, on his part, full of 
admiration for the knowledge which Luther had of Scripture, placed 
him far above the fathers of the Church. He had a wish to excuse 
the pleasantries for which Luther was sometimes upbraided, and 
compared him to a vessel of clay containing precious treasure 
under a coarse covering. " I will take good care not to blame 
him for them inconsiderately," said he. 1 

But these two souls so intimately united are now separated. 
These two valiant soldiers can no longer march together for the 
deliverance of the Church. Luther has disappeared, and is per 
haps lost for ever. The consternation of Wittemberg was extreme : 
it might have been- likened to an army standing with sullen and 
downcast look over the bloody remains of the general who was 
leading them on to victory. 

Suddenly intelligence the most gratifying was received. " Our 
dearly beloved father lives," 2 exclaimed Melancthon in the joy of 
his heart, " take courage and be strong." But grief soon resumed 
the ascendancy. LntlnT was alive but in prison. The edict of 
Worms with its cruel prescriptions, 3 had been circulated by thou 
sands throughout the empire, and even in the mountains of the 
Tyrol. 4 Could the Reformation avoid being crushed by the iron 
hand which lay upon it ? Melancthon s gentle spirit sank within 
him while he uttered a ciy of grief. 

But above the hand of man a more powerful hand was at work : 
God himself deprived the formidable edict of its force. The German 
princes who had always sought to humble the power of Eome in 
the empire, trembled on seeing the alliance of the emperor with 
the pope, and feared lest it should result in the destruction of all 
their liberties. Accordingly, though Charles, on his passage through 
the Low Countries, smiled ironically as he saluted the flames which 
some flatterers and fanatics were kindling in the public places with 
the writings of Luther, these writings were read in Germany 
with constantly increasing avidity, and every day new pamphlets 
appeared to support the Reformation, and make new assaults on the 
papacy. The nuncios were disconcerted out of measure on seeing 
that the edict, which had cost them so much injustice, produced so 
little effect. " The ink of the Emperor s signature," said some 

1 Spiritum Martini nolim tenere in hoc causa interpellare. (Corp. Ref. i, 211.) I 
would be unwilling in this matter to interdict Martin s humour. - Pater 

noster charissimus vivit. (Ibid, p, 389.) s Dicitur parari proscriptio horrenda. 

(Ibid.) It is said that a horrible proscription is being prepared. * Dicuntu 

signataj chartaj proscriptiones bis mille missae quoque ad Insbruck. (Ibid.) Two 
thousand copies of the proscription were said to hare been sent as far as lus-bnick. 


witli bitterness, " was scarcely dry, before the decree itself was 
every where torn in pieces . . . The people become more and more 
attached to the wondrous man who unawed by the thunders of 
Charles and the pope, had confessed his faith with the courage of a 
martyr. "He offered to retract," observed others, "if he was re 
futed, but none ventured to undertake the refutation. Is not this 
a proof that what he teaches is true ? " Accordingly, at Wittem- 
berg and throughout the empire, the first movement, of alarm was 
succeeded by a movement of enthusiasm. Even the Archbishop 
of Mentz, seeing how strongly the sympathy of the people was ex 
pressed, did not venture to give permission to the Cordeliers to 
preach against the Keformer. The university, which seemed on 
the eve of destruction, raised its head. There the new doctrines 
were two well established to be shaken by Luther s absence. In 
a short time the academic halls could scarcely contain the crowds 
of hearers. 1 


Luther in the Wartburg Object of his Captivity Agonies Sickness Labour of 
Luther On Confession To Latoiuus Walks. 

Meanwhile Knight George (this was Luther s name in the Wart- 
burg) lived solitary and unknown. " If you, saw me," wrote 
he to Melancthon, " you would take me for a knight, and would 
scarcely be able to recognise me." 2 Luther at first took some re 
pose, enjoying a leisure which he had never tasted till this time. 
He moved freely within the fortress, but could not go beyond its 
walls. 3 All his wants were supplied, and he had never been bet 
ter treated. 4 Many thoughts filled his soul, but none could trouble 
him. He cast his eyes alternately to the surrounding forests, and 
raised them towards heaven " A singular captive !" exclaimed 
he, " captive both with and against my will." 5 

Writing to Spalatin, he says, " Pray for me ; your prayers are 
the only thing I want. I give myself no concern with all that is 
said and done with regard to me in the world. At length I am at 
rest." 6 . . . . This letter, as well as several others of the same 

1 Scholastic! quorum supra millia ibi tune fuerunt. (Spalatini Annales, 1521 
Octo.) The students, of whom there were then above a thousand. 

3 Equitem videres ac ipse vix agnosceres. (L Ep. ii, 11.) You would see a knight, 
nnd would yourself scarcely recognise me. 3 Nunc sum hie otiosus, sicut inter cap- 
tivos liber, (Tbid., p. 3, 12 May.) 1 am now at leisure free, as it were, among captives. 

* Quanquam et hilariter et libenter omnia mihi minis tret. (Ibid., p. 13, Aug. lf>.) 
Although he both willingly and cheerfully supplies me with every thing. 5 Ego 

mirabilis captivus qui et volens et nolens hie sedeo. (Ibid., p. 4, May 12.) lama 
strange captive, sitting here both willing and unwilling. 6 Tu fac ut pro me ores; 


period, is dated from the isle of Patmos. Luther compared the 
Wartburg to the celebrated island to which the anger of the em-, 
peror Domitian banished the apostle John. 

The Reformer reposed amid the dark forests of Thuringia from 
the violent struggles which had agitated his soul. Here he stu 
died Christian truth, not for disputation, but as a means of rege 
neration and life. The commencement of the Reformation be 
hoved to be polemical ; new times demanded new exertions. Af 
ter rooting up the thorns and brambles, it was necessary to sow 
the seed peacefully in men s hearts. Had Luther been obliged in 
cessantly to fight new battles, he could not have accomplished a 
lasting work in the Church. By his captivity he escaped a danger 
which might perhaps have destroyed the Reformation that of 
always attacking and destroying, without ever defending and 
building up. 

This humble retreat produced a result still more precious. Rais 
ed as it were upon a pedestal by his countrymen, he was within 
a step of the abyss, and a moment of giddiness might have sufficed 
to throw him headlong into it. Some of the first agents in the 
Reformation in Germany and Switzerland were dashed to pieces 
against the rock of spiritual pride and fanaticism. Luther was a 
man very subject to the infirmities of our nature, and he did not 
entirely escape these dangers. Still the hand of God delivered him 
from them for a time, by suddenly withdrawing him from intoxi 
cating triumphs, and consigning him to the depth of an unknown 
retreat. His soul there communed with itself near to God ; it was 
there bathed in the waters of adversity; his sufferings, his humilia 
tions, constrained him at least for a time to walk with the humble, 
and the principles of the Christian life thenceforth were developed 
in his soul with new energy and freedom. 

Luther s quiet was not of long duration. Seated on the walls of 
the Wartburg, he spent whole days absorbed in profound medita 
tion. Sometimes the Church presented herself to his mind, and 
displayed all her miseries before him. 1 At other times turning his 
eye upwards with hope towards heaven, he exclaimed, "How, () 
Lord, couldst thou have made all men in vain ! " (Ps. Ixxxix, 47.) 
At other times, again abandoning this hope, he was downcast and 
exclaimed, " Alas, there is no one, in the last day of His wrath, 
who can stand as a wall before the Lord to save Israel ! . . ." 

Then returning to his own destiny, he feared lest he should be 

hac una r? opus rrihi est. Quicquid de mo fit in publico, nihil moror ; ego in quiete 
tandem sedeo. (Ibid., p. 4, June 10, 1521.) Do you pray for me. As to what is done 
concerning me in public I care not: at length I sit in quietness. 

1 Ego hie sedens tota die facicm Ecclesise ante me constituo. (L. Ep. ii, 1.) I, sit- 
ting here a whole day, figure to myself the appearance of the Church. 


accused of having abandoned the field of battle, 1 and the idea af 
flicted his soul. " I would far rather," said he, " be laid on burn 
ing coals than stagnate here half dead." 2 

oSText transporting himself in imagination to Worms and Wit- 
temberg to the midst of his enemies, he regretted that he had yield 
ed to the counsels of his friends, instead of remaining in the world, 
and offering his breast to the fury of men. 3 " Ah," said he, " there 
is nothing I desire more than to present myself before my cruel 
enemies." 4 

Still some sweet thought arose, and gave a truce to these agon 
ies. All was not torment to Luther ; from time to time his agi 
tated spirit found some degree of calmness and consolation. After 
the assurance of divine aid, his greatest solace in his grief was the 
remembrance of Melancthon. " If I perish," wrote he to him, " the 
gospel will lose nothing ; 5 you will succeed me as Elisha did, with 
a double measure of my spirit." But calling to mind Philip s ti 
midity, he cried to him aloud, "Minister of the word, guard the 
walls and towers of Jerusalem until the adversary strike you. We 
are still standing alone on the field of battle : after me they will 
next assail you." 6 

The thought of this last attack which Rome was going to make 
on the rising Church threw him into new anxiety. The poor monk, 
a solitary prisoner, had violent wrestling with himself. But sud 
denly he obtained a glimpse of his deliverance. It occurred to 
him that the attacks of the papacy would arouse the nations of 
Germany, and that the soldiers of the gospel, proving victorious, 
would surround the Wartburg and give liberty to the prisoner. 
" If the pope," said he, " lays hands on all who are for me, there 
will be a commotion in Germany ; the more haste he makes to 
crush us, the more speedy will be the, end both of him and his. 
And I ... will be restored to you. 7 God awakening many minds, 
and stirring up the nations. Let our enemies only seize our cause 
in their arms and try to strangle it ; it will grow under their grasp, 
and come forth ten times more formidable." 

But sickness brought him down from those heights to which his 
courage and his faith had elevated him. He had already suffer- 

1 Verebar ego ne aciera deserere viderer. (L. Ep. ii, 1.) I feared lest I should seem 
to have deserted the field. 2 Mallem inter carbones vivos ardere, quam solus se 

mivivns, atque nfinam nun inortuus putere. (Ibid. ,10.) I would rather burn among 
live coals than remain alone half alive ; and I wish it may not prove a noisome car 
case. (Ibid., p. 10.) 3 Cervicem esse objectandam publico furori. (Ibid., p. 89.) 
That I ought to expose my neck to the public fury. * Nihil magis opr<> quam 
furoribus adversariorum occurrere, objecto jugulo. (Ibid., p. 1.) I desire nothing more 
than to meet the fury of adversaries, offering them my nock. 5 Etiam si peream, 
nihil perebit Evangelio. (Ibid., p. 10.) Even if I perish, nothing will perish to the 
gospel. 6 jf os R0 ii adhuc stamus in acie : te quserent post me. (L. Ep. ii, p. 2.) 

7 Quo citius id tentaverit, hoc citius et ipse et sui peribunt. (L. Ep. ii, p. 10.) The 
sooner he attempts it, the sooner he and his will perish 


ed much at Worms, and his illness increased in solitude. 1 He 
could not digest the food of the Wartburg, which was somewhat 
less homely than that of his convent : it was necessary to return to 
the poor fare to which he had been accustomed. He passed 
whole nights without sleep. Anguish of mind was added to bodily 
suffering. No work is accomplished without pain and self-denial. 
Luther, alone upon his rock, endured in his powerful nature a 
passion which the emancipation of humanity rendered necessary. 
" Seated at night in my chamber," says he, " I sent forth cries like 
a woman in travail torn, wounded, and bleeding." 2 Then, inter 
rupting his complaints, and impressed with the thought that his 
sufferings were benefits from God, he gratefully exclaims, "Thanks 
be rendered unto thee, O Christ, in that thou hast been pleased not 
to leave me without the precious relics of thy holy cross ! " 3 He 
soon becomes indignant at himself, and exclaims, "Infatuated, 
hardened creature that I am ! How grievous ! I pray little, I 
wrestle little with the Lord, I do not groan for the church of God. 4 
Instead of being fervent in spirit, my passions only are inflamed ; 
I remain in sloth, sleep, and indolence." Then, not knowing to 
what this state should be ascribed, and accustomed to expect every 
thing from the affection of his brethren, he exclaims, in the desola 
tion of his soul, " O, my friends, is it because you forget to pray 
for me that God is thus estranged from me ! " 

Those about him, as well as his friends at Wittemberg and in the 
Elector s court, were uneasy and alarmed at this state of suffering . 
They trembled to think, that a life snatched from the scaffold 
of the pope and the sword of Charles V, should sadly wane and 
vanish away. Can the Wartburg be destined to be the tomb of 
Luther? "I fear," said Melancthon, "that the grief which he feels 
for the church will be his death. A torch has been kindled by him 
in Israel: if it is extinguished what hope will be left us? Would to 
God I were able, at the cost of my miserable life, to detain in the 
world one who is its brightest ornament." 5 "O, what a man!" 
he exclaims, as if he were on the borders of the tomb, "we have 
not duly appreciated him." 

What Luther called the unbecoming indolence of his prison was 
labour almost above man s utmost strength. " I am here every day," 
said he, (14th May,) "injklleness and luxury, (referring, doubtless, 
to his fare, which at first was not quite so coarse as he had been 

1 Auctura est malum, quo Wormatiae laborabam. (Ibid., p. 17.) The illness with 
which I was attacked at Worms increased. a Sedeo dolens sicut pue^pera, lacer , 

et saucius, et cruentus. (Ibid., p. 50, 9th Sept.) Gratius Christo, qui me sine 

reliquiis sanctse crucis non.derelinquit. (Ibid.) * Nihil gemens pro ecclesia Dei. 

(Ibid., p. 22, 13th July.) 5 .Utinara hau vilL anima mea ipsius vitam emere queam 

(Corp. Ref. i, p. 415, 6ch July.) I wish I ware able, with this wurthie ss life fminp j _to 
purchase his life. 



accustomed to.) I read the Bible in Hebrew and Greek : I am going to 
write a discourse in German on auricular confession: I will continue 
the translation of the Psalms, and compose a collection of sermons 
as soon as I get from Wittemberg what I require. I write without 
intermission ;" 1 and yet these were only a part of Luther s labours. 

His enemies thought that if he was not dead, at all events, 
his voice would not again be heard : but their joy was of short 
duration, and the world was not left long in doubt whether he were 
alive. A multitude of writings, composed in the Wartburg, ap 
peared in rapid succession, and the cherished voice of the Reformer 
was every where received with enthusiasm. Luther published at 
once works fitted to edify the Church and polemical treatises, which 
interrupted the too hasty joy of his enemies. For nearly a year he 
instructed, exhorted, rebuked, and thundered from his mountain 
top, and his adversaries, confounded, asked whether there were 
not some supernatural mystery in this prodigious activity. " He 
could not rest," says Cochlojus. 2 

The only mystery was, the impudence of the partisans of Rome : 
They hastened to avail themselves of the Edict of Worms to give 
a mortal blow to the Reformation, while Luther, condemned, placed 
under the ban of the empire, and shut up in the Wartburg, stood 
forth to defend sound doctrine as if he had been still free and vic 
torious. It was in the confessional especially that the priests strove 
to rivet the chains of their deluded parishioners, and accordingly 
confession was the object of Luther s first attack. " They found," 
says he, " on the words of St. James, Confess your sins one to 
another? Singular confession ! He says, one to another J whence 
it should follow, that confessors ought also to confess to their peni 
tents ; that every Christian should, in his turn, be pope, bishop, 
priest, and that the pope himself should confess to all." 3 

Scarcely had Luther finished this small work, than he began 
another. Latomus a theologian of Louvain, already celebrated for his 
opposition to Reuchlin and Erasmus, had attacked the views of the 
Reformer. In twelve days Luther s refutation was ready, and 
it is one of his master-pieces. He vindicates himself from the 
charge of wanting moderation. " The moderation of the age," 
isays he, " is to bend the knee before sacrilegious pontiffs, impious 
sophists, and address them as gracious lord ! excellent master ! 
Then when you have done so, you may put to death whomsoever 
you please ; overturn the world, nay, you will still be a moderate 
man. Far from me be this moderation. I like better to be frank 

1 Sine intermissione scribo. (L. Ep. ii, pp. 6. Ifi.) 2 Cum quiescere non pos. 

pet. (Cochloeus, Acta Lutheri, p. 8 J.J 3 Und der Papst mlisse ihm beiubten. (L. 

Op. xvii, p. 701.) 


and deceive nobody. The shell, perhaps, is hard, but the kernel is 
sweet and tender." l 

Luther s health continuing to decline, he thought of quitting the 
Wartburg. But how was he to do it ? To appear in public was 
to risk his life. The back of the mountain on which the fortress 
stood was traversed by numerous paths, the sides of which were 
bordered with tufts of strawberries. The massy gate of the castle 
was opened, and the prisoner ventured, not without fear, stealthily 
to gather some of the fruit. 2 He became bolder by degrees, and 
began to survey the surrounding country in his knight s dress, and 
attended by a guard of the castle, a blunt but trustworthy man. 
One day having entered an inn he threw aside his sword, which en 
cumbered him, and ran towards some book which happened to be 
lying. Nature was stronger than prudence. His attendant trembled 
fearing that a proceeding so unusual in a warrior would be regarded as 
a proof that the doctor was not a true knight. On another occasion 
the two warriors descended into the convent of Keichardsbrunn. 
where Luther had slept a few months before, on his way to Worms. 3 
Suddenly a friar allowed a sign of surprise to escape from him. 
Luther is recognised. His attendant perceives it, and, dragging 
him off in all haste, they gallop away far from the convent, before 
the poor friar has time to recover from his astonishment. 

The chivalric life of the doctor occasionally partook strongly of 
the theological. One clay the nets are prepared, the gates of the 
fortress are thrown open, and the dogs with long flapping ears rush 
forth. Luther had wished to taste the pleasures of the chace. The 
hunters soon become animated, the dogs dart along, and drive the 
brown hares among the brush-wood. In the midst of the turmoil 
the chevalier George, standing motionless, had his mind filled with 
serious thoughts; at the sight of the objects around him his heart 
is bursting with grief. 4 "Is it not," said he, " an image of the 
devil who arouses his dogs, in other words, the bishops, those mes 
sengers of antichrist, and hounds them on in pursuit of poor 
souls." 5 A young hare had just been caught, and Luther, happy 
to save it, wraps it carefully in his cloak, and places it under a 
bush. Before he proceeds many steps the dogs scent out the poor 
creature and kill it. Luther attracted by the noise, utters a 
cry of grief, " t) pope !" says he, " and thou Satan! it is thus you 

1 Cortex meus esse potest durior, sed nucleus meus molli^ et dulcis cst. (L. Op. 
xvfi, Lat. ii, p. 213.) My husk may be somewhat hard, but my kernel is soft and sweet. 

2 Zu zeiten gehet er inn die Erdbe^r am Schlossberg. (Mathesius, p. 33.) See 
the Second Vol. * Theologisabar etiam ibi inter retia et canes . . tantum mis- 
erioordias et doloris miscuit mysterium. (L. Ep. ii. p. 43:) I theologised them also 
among nets and dogs: it produced such a mixture of pity and grief. 

5 Quid enim ista imago, nisi Diabolum significat per insidias suas et impios magis- 
ros canes suos. . . (L. Ep. ii, p. 43.) For what does that represent but the devil witb 
snares and the impious masters, his dogs. 


strive to destroy even those souls which have beeu already saved 
from death." L 

CHAP. in. 

The Reformation begins Marriage of Feldkirchen Marriage of Monks Theses- 
Writes against Monachism Luther ceases to be a Monk. 

While the doctor of Wittemberg, dead to the world, was relax 
ing himself by these sports in the environs of the Wartburg, the 
work was advancing as of itself; the Reformation had commenced. 
No longer confining itself to doctrine, it energetically advanced 
into act. Bernard Feldkirchen, pastor of Kemberg, who, under the 
direction of Luther, had first attacked the errors of Rome, 2 was also 
the first to throw off the yoke of her institutions. He married. 

The German character delights in domestic life and the joys of 
home; accordingly of all the ordinances of the papacy, that of 
forced celibacy had produced the worst consequences. The im 
position of this law on the heads of the clergy had prevented the 
fiefs of the Church from becoming hereditary. But when extended 
by Gregory VII to the lower clergy, it had led to deplorable re 
sults. Many priests had evaded the obligations imposed on them 
by shameful irregularities, and brought hatred and contempt on 
their order, while those who had submitted to Hildebrand s law 
felt inwardly indignant against the Church, because at the same time 
that it gave its high dignitaries so much power, wealth, and worldly 
enjoyment, it forced humble ministers, who were, however, its 
most useful supports, to sacrifices altogether contrary to the Gospel. 

" Neither popes nor councils," said Feldkirchen and another 
pastor named Seidler, who followed his example, " can impose on 
the Church an ordinance which endangers soul and body. The 
obligation to maintain the law of God constrains us to violate the 
traditions of men." 3 The reestablishment of marriage in the 
sixteenth century was an act of homage to the moral law. The 
ecclesiastical authority, taking alarm, immediately launched its de 
crees against the two priests. Seidler, who was in the territories of 
duke George, was given up to his superiors, and died in prison. But 
the elector Frederick refused to give up Feldkirchen to the arch 
bishop of Magdeburg. " His Highness," said Spalatin, " has no 

1 Sic ssevit Papa et Satan ut servatas etiam animas perdat. (Ibid., p. 44.) So rage 
the 1 ope and Satan, in order to destroy even souls that have been saved. 

2 Volume First. 8 Cue git me ergo ut humanas traditiones violarem.r.ecessi- 
tes servandi juris divini. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 441.) The necessity -of keeping the Jtvii:o 
law compelled me to violate human traditions. 


wish to act as a police officer." Feldkirchen, therefore, though 
he had become a husband and a father, continued pastor of his 

The first emotion of the Reformer on learning these things was 
to give expression to his joy. "I admire this new husband of Kem- 
berg who fears nothing, and hastens into the midst of the tumult." 
Luther was convinced that priests ought to marry. But this 
Question led to another the marriage of monks, and here Luther 
had to maintain one of those internal combats of which his whole 
life was composed ; for every reformation must be effected by an in 
tellectual struggle. Melancthon and Carlstadt, the one a layman 
and the other a priest, thought that the liberty of entering into the 
bonds of marriage ought to belong to monks as well as to priests. 
Luther, a monk, did not think so at first. One day the governor of 
the Wartburg having brought him some theses of Carlstadt, on ce 
libacy, " Good God !" exclaimed he, u will our Wittembergers give 
wives to monks even !".... The idea astonished and confounded 
him ; his mind was troubled. The liberty which he claimed for 
others he rejected for himself. " Ah !" exclaimed he with indigna 
tion, " at all events they will not force me to take a wife." l This 
saying is doubtless unknown to those who pretend that Luther effect 
ed the Reformation in order that he might be able to many. Seek 
ing the truth honestly, not through passion, he defended whatever 
presented itself to him as true, though it might be contrary to his 
system as a whole. He moved in a mixture of truth and error, 
waiting the time when all error would fall and truth alone remain. 

There was in fact a great difference between the two questions. 
The marriage of the priests did not put an end to the priesthood ; 
on the contrary, it alone could restore the secular clergy to the 
respect of the people ; but the marriage of monks was the destruc 
tion of monachism. The question then was to determine whether 
it was necessary to break up and disband the mighty army which 
the popes held under their command. " The priests," wrote Lu 
ther to Melancthon, " are appointed of God, and consequently are 
free in regard to human commandments. But the monks have 
voluntarily chosen celibacy, and therefore are not free to withdraw 
themselves from the yoke of their own choice." 2 

The Reformer behoved to advance and carry this new position 
of the adversary by means of a new struggle. He had already 
put under his feet many abuses of Rome and Rome itself, but 

1 At mihi non obtrudent uxorem. (L. Ep. ii, p. 40.) But they should not obtrude 
a wife upon me. 2 Me inem vehementer movet, quod sacerdotum ordo, a Deo in- 

stitutus, est liber, non autem monachorum qui sua sponte statum eligerunt. (Ibid. 
t \. 84.) I am exceedingly moved by the thought, that the order of priests instituted 
by God is free, not so that of the monks who have spontaneously chosen their state. 


monachisin was still standing. Monacbism, which of old carried 
life into so many deserts, and which after traversing many cen 
turies, now filled so many cloisters with indolence and often with 
luxury, seemed to have personified itself and come to defend its 
rights in the castle of Thuringia, where was to be decided in the 
conscience of a single man the question of its life or its death. 
Luther wrestled with it. Sometimes he was on the point of over 
coming it, and sometimes he was on the point of being overcome. 
At length, unable any longer to maintain the combat, he prostrated 
himself in prayer at the feet of Jesus Christ, and exclaimed, " In 
struct us ! deliver us ! In thy mercy establish us in the liberty 
which belongs to us, for certainly we are thy people." * 

He had not to wait for deliverance: an important revolution was 
produced in the Keformer s mind, and it was again the doctrine of 
justification by faith that gave him the victory. This weapon be 
fore which had fallen in the mind of Luther and of Christendom, 
indulgences, the discipline of Eome, and the pope himself, also 
effected the downfall of the monks. Luther saw that monachism 
and the doctrine of salvation by grace were in flagrant opposition, 
and that monastic life was founded entirely on the pretended merits 
of man. Thenceforth, convinced that the glory of Jesus Christ 
was at stake, he heard a voice within incessantly repeating, 
" Monachism must fall." " So long," said he, " as the doctrine 
of justification continues in the Church unimpaired, no man will 
become a monk." 2 This conviction always acquired more strength 
in his heart, and in the beginning of September he sent " to the 
bishops and deacons of the Church of Wittemberg " the following 
theses, which formed his declaration of war against monastic life. 

"Whatsoever is not of faith is sin." (Rom. xiv, 23.) 

" Whosoever makes a vow of virginity, chastity, or service to 
God without faith, makes an impious and idolatrous vow, and 
makes it to the devil himself. 

" To make such vows is to be worse than the priests of Cybele, 
or the vestals of the heathen ; for the monks pronounce their vows 
in the idea that they are to be faithful and saved by them, and 
what ought to be ascribed solely to the mercy of God, is thus at 
tributed to the merit of works. 

" Such convents should be completely overturned as houses of 
the devil. 

"There is only one order which is holy and produces holiness, 
and that is Christianity or faith. 3 

1 Dominus Jesus erudiat etliberet nos, per misericordiam suam, in libertatem noa. 
tram. (To Melancthon on Celibacy, 6th August, 1621, pi 40.) May the Lord Jesus 
instruct us, and in his mercy put us in possession of our freedom ! 2 L. Op. (W.) 

xxii, p. 1468. 3 Es ist nicht melir denn eine einige Geistlichkeit, die da heilig ist, 

und heilig macht. . . . (L. Op. xvii, p. 718.) 



" Convents, to be useful, should be schools in which children 
might be trained to man s estate, whereas they are houses in which 
full grown men again become children, and so continue ever after." 

We see that at this period Luther would still have tolerated 
convents as houses of education, but his attacks on these establish 
ments soon became more energetic. The immorality of cloisters, 
and the shameful practices which prevailed in them, were vividly 
present to his mind. " I am desirous," wrote he to Spalatin on 
the llth ISTov. " to deliver young people from the infernal flames of 
celibacy." 1 Then he wrote a treatise against celibacy, and dedi 
cated it to his father. " Are you desirous," said he in his dedica 
tion to the old man of Mansfield, " are you still desirous to snatch 
me from monasticism? You are entitled to do so: for you are 
still my father, and I am still your son ; but it is no longer neces 
sary ; God has gone before you, and snatched me from it by his 
own power. What matters it whether I continue or lay aside the 
tonsure and monk s hood ? Is it the hood, is it the tonsure that 
makes a monk ? All things are yours, says St. Paul, and you are 
Christ s. I belong not to the hood, but the hood to me. I am a 
monk, and yet not a monk ; I am a new creature, not of the pope 
but of Jesus Christ. Christ alone, and without any intermediate 
person, is my bishop, my abbot, my prior, my lord, my father, and 
I know no other. What matters it to me though the pope should 
condemn and butcher me ? He will not be able to bring me forth 
from the tomb to do it a second time. The great day is approach 
ing when the kingdom of abominations will bo overthrown. 
Would to God we were worthy of being butchered by the pope. Our 
blood would cry to Heaven against him, and thus his judgment 
would be hastened, and his end brought near." 2 

The transformation had been produced in Luther himself; he 
was no longer a monk. This change was not the result of exter 
nal causes, of human passions, of carnal precipitancy. There had 
been a struggle in it. Luther had at first been arrayed on the side 
of monachism ; but truth also had entered the lists, and monachism 
had been vanquished. The victories which passion gains are 
ephemeral, whereas those of truth are durable and decisive. 

1 Adolescentes liberare ex isto inferno ccelibatus. (L. Op. ii, p. 95.) 2 Dass 

miser Blut mocht schreien und dringen seiii Gericiit. dass sein bald ein Ende winds 
(I bid., p. 105) 



Archbishop AlbertThe Idol of Halle Luther appears Terror at the Court- 
Luther to the Archbishop The Archbishop s Reply Joachim of Brandenburg. 

While Luther was thus making preparation for one of the greatest 
revolutions which was to be effected in the Church ,~and while the 
Reformation was beginning to act so powerfully on the state of 
society in Christendom, the partisans of Rome, blinded as those 
usually are who have long been in possession of power, imagined 
that because Luther was in the Wartburg, the Reformation was 
for ever dead and buried, and that henceforth they would be able in 
peace to resume their ancient practices after being momentarily 
disturbed by the monk of Wittemberg. Albert, the Archbishop- 
Elector of Mentz, was one of those feeble spirits, who, when all 
things are equal, are in favour of truth, but as soon as their interest 
it? thrown into the balance, are ready to array themselves on the side of 
error. The great point with him was, that his court should be as 
brilliant as that of any prince in Germany, his equipage as rich, 
and his table as well supplied, and to this end the traffic in indul 
gences contributed admirably. Hence, no sooner had the decree 
condemning Luther and the Reformation issued from the imperial 
chancery, than Albert, who was then with his court at Halle, as 
sembled the indulgence merchants who were still in alarm at the 
preaching of the Reformer, and tried to encourage them by such 
words as these, " Fear no more; we have reduced him to silence; 
let us again begin to clip the flock ; the monk is captive ; he is under 
lock and key, and will this time be dexterous indeed if he again 
comes to disturb us." The market was opened anew, the mer 
chandise exhibited, and the churches of Halle resounded once more 
with the harangues of the quacks. 

But Luther was still alive, and his voice was powerful enough 
to pierce the walls and bars behind which he had been hid. No 
thing could inflame his indignation to a higher degree. What! the 
fiercest battles have been fought, he has faced all dangers, the truth 
has come off victorious, and yet men dare to trample it under their 
feet as if it had been vanquished. . . . The doctrine which has 
already once overthrown this criminal traffic will again be heard. 
" I shall have no rest," wrote he to Spalatin, " till I have attacked 
the idol of Mentz, and its prostitutions at Halle." 1 

1 Non continebor quin idolum Moguntinmn invadam, cum suo lupanari Ilallensi. 
(L.Ep. ii. p. 59, 7th Oct.) I shall not be prevented from attacking the idol of Meutz. 
with his brothel at Halle. 


Luther forthwith set to work; he gave himself little concern 
about the mysteriousness with which it was sought to envelope his 
residence in the Wartburg. Elijah in the desert forges new thun 
derbolts against impious Ahab. On the 1st November he finished 
a tract against the new idol of Halle. 

The archbishop received intelligence of Luther s design. Appre 
hensive and frightened at the thought, he, about the middle of Octo 
ber, sent two officials of his court, Capito and Auerbach, to Wit- 
temberg to lay the storm. " It is necessary," said they to 
Melancthon, who most courteously received them, " it is necessary 
for Luther to moderate his impetuosity." But Melancthon, though 
mild himself, was not one of those who imagine that wisdom consists 
in always yielding, always equivocating, always holding one s peace. 
" It is God himself who calls him," replied he, " and our age stands 
in need of an acrid .and pungent salt." * Capito then turned to 
Jonas and endeavoured through him, to act upon the court at which 
intelligence of Luther s design had already arrived, and produced 
the greatest consternation. " What !" said the courtiers, " revive 
the flames which there has been so much difficulty in extinguish 
ing ! Luther can only be saved by allowing himself to be forgotten, 
and here he is setting himself in opposition to the first prince of the 
empire." " I wont allow Luther, said the Elector, " to write 
against the Archbishop of Mentz, and thereby disturb the public 
peace." 2 

Luther felt indignant when these words were reported to him. 
It is not enough to imprison his body : they must also chain his 
mind, and truth herself. Do they imagine that he conceals him 
self from fear, and that his retirement is an acknowledgment of 
defeat ? He, on the contrary, maintains that it is a victory. Who r 
then, at Worms, dared to rise up against him and to contradict 
the truth ? Accordingly when the prisoner of the Wartburg had 
read the chaplain s letter, which made him aware of the prince s 
sentiments, he threw it from him, determined not to reply to it. 
But he could not long refrain, and he again lifted the letter. "The 
Elector will not permit !" . . . . wrote he to Spalatin " and I 
will not suffer the Elector not to permit me to write . . . Sooner 
rain you for ever you, the Elector the whole world. 3 If I have 
resisted the pope who is the creature of your cardinal, why should 
I yield to his creature ? It is really good to hear you say, that the 
public peace must not be disturbed, while you allow others to dis- 

1 Huic seculo opus csse acerritno sale. (Corp. Ref. i, 403.) This age stands in need 
of a very pungent salt. 2 Non pas^urum priricipem, scribi in Mo^untinum. (I* 

Ep. ii, p. 94.) That the prince will not allow any thing to be written against the arch 
bishop of Mentz. y Potiu.s te et principem ipsnm perdam et otnnem ereaturam. 
(Ibid.) I will rather destroy you and the prince hi n; self and every creature. 


turb the eternal peace of God. It will not be so, O prince. 1 I 
send you a tract which I had already prepared against the cardinal, 
before I received your letter. Hand it to Melancthon . . . ."" 

The perusal of this manuscript made Spalatin tremble. He 
again represented to the Reformer how imprudent it would be to 
publish a work which would compel the imperial government to 
lay aside its apparent ignorance of Luther s fate, and to punish a 
prisoner who dared to attack the first prince of the empire and the 
Church. If Luther persisted in this design, peace was again dis 
turbed, and the Reformation perhaps lost. Luther consented to 
delay the publication of his treatise ; he even allowed Melancthon 
to erase the strongest passages, 2 But indignant at the timidity of 
his friend, he wrote to the chaplain, "He lives, he reigns the 
Lord in whom you court folks believe not, at least, if he does not so 
accommodate his works to your reason, that there is no longer 
occasion to believe any thing." He forthwith resolved on writing 
directly to the elector cardinal. 

It is the whole episcopate that Luther brings to his bar in the 
person of the primate of Germany. His words are those of an in 
trepid man, burning with zeal for the truth, and under a conscious 
ness of speaking in the name of God himself. 

Writing from the depth of the retreat in which he was concealed, 
he says, " Your Electoral Highness has again set up in Halle 
the idol which devours the silver and the souls of poor Christians. 
You think, perhaps, that I am off the field, and that his imperial 
majesty will easily stifle the cries of the poor monk. .... But 
know that I will discharge the duty which Christian charity im 
poses on me, without fearing the gates of hell and a fortiori, with 
out fearing the pope, bishops, and cardinals. 

" Wherefore, my most humble prayer is, that your Royal Highness 
will call to mind the commencement of this affair, and how one small 
spark produced a fearful conflagration. Then also the whole world 
felt secure. The thought was the poor mendicant who is dis 
posed, single-handed, to attack the pope, is too feeble for such a 
work. But God interposed, and has given the pope move toil and 
anxiety than he ever had since he seated himself in the temple of 
God, to domineer over the Church. The same God still lives : let 
no man doubt it. 3 He knows how to withstand a cardinal of 
Meritz, were he even supported by four emperors ; for be loves 
above all things, to bow down the lofty cedars and humble proud 

2 Non sic, Spalatine, noti sic, pvii c p*. (T.. Fp. ii, p. H.) Not so, Rv.r-laUii! rot 
ao,0 prince! - Ut acerhiuru tratlnt. ( IlrU:.. j>. 110.) TiuMc-.-riing bi ..uM <. oulu 

.ess be radat. LVi Kjlbi^ (jott k Let iitch, ua zvvtild vur i.j..L.;<iiid uu . . . 

Ibid., p. 118.) 


" Wherefore, I hereby give your Highness to wit, that if the 
idol is not cast down, I must, in obedience to the command of God 
publicly attack your Highness, as I have attacked the pope him. 
self. Let your Highness act upon this notice ; I expect a prompt 
and good answer within a fortnight. Given in my desert, Sunday 
after St. Catherine s day, 1521, by your Electoral Highness s hum 
ble and devoted, MARTIN LUTHER." 

This letter was sent to Wittemberg, and from Wittemberg to 
Halle, where the cardinal elector then resided, no attempt was 
made to stop it in its course, as it was foreseen what a storm such 
an audacious proceeding would have called forth. But Melancthou 
accompanied it with a letter to the prudent Capito, with a view to 
bring this difficult affair to a good termination. 

We cannot say what were the feelings of the young and feeble 
archbishop on receiving the Reformer s letter. The tract announced 
against the idol of Halle was like a sword suspended over his head. 
At the same time, what rage must have been kindled in his heart 
by the insolence of this peasant s son, this excommunicated monk, 
who dared to hold such language to a prince of the house of Bran 
denburg, the primate of the German Church ? Capito implored 
the archbishop to satisfy the monk. Terror, pride, conscience whose 
voice he could not stifle, produced a fearful struggle in Albert s 
soul. At length, dread of the tract, and it may be also remorse, car 
ried the day. He humbled himself and gathered together whatever 
he thought fitted to appease the man of the Wartburg ; scarcely 
had the fortnight elapsed, when Luther received the following letter, 
which is still more astonishing than his formidable epistle. 

My dear Doctor, I have received and read your letter, and 
taken it in good part. But I believe that for a long time the mo 
tive which led you to write me such a letter has not existed. I 
wish, with God s help, to conduct myself as a pious bishop and a 
Christian prince, and I acknowledge that I stand in need of the 
grace of God. I deny not that I am a sinful man, one who may 
sin and be mistaken, one even who sins and is mistaken every day. 
I know well that without the grace of God I am useless and fil 
thy mire like other men, if not more so. In reply to your letter, 
I did not Avish to conceal from you this gracious disposition ; for, 
from the love of Christ, I am more than desirous to show you all 
sorts of kindness and favour. I know how to receive a Christian 
and fraternal reprimand. 

" With my own hand, ALBERT." 

Such was the language held to the excommunicated of the Wart- 
burg by the Elector Archbishop of Mentz and Magdeburg, whose 
office it was to represent -and maintain in Germany the constitu- 


tion of the Church. Had Albert, in writing it, obeyed the generous 
inspirations of his conscience, or his servile fears ? In the former 
view, this letter is noble ; in the latter, it deserves contempt. We 
prefer supposing that it proceeded from a good emotion in his heart. 
Be this as it may, it shows the immense superiority of the servant 
of God over earthly grandeur. While Luther, single, captive, and 
condemned, found indomitable courage in his faith, the archbishop 
cardinal elector, surrounded by all the power and . favour of the 
world, trembled in his chair. This contrast is constantly display 
ed, and it furnishes a key to the strange enigma with which we 
are presented in the history of the Reformation. The Christian is 
not called to sum up his forces and make an enumeration of his 
means of victory. The only thing which ought to give him any con 
cern is, whether the cause which he maintains is indeed that of 
God, and whether his sole aim is the glory of his Master. He has 
doubtless an examination to make, but it is wholly spiritual ; the 
Christian looks to the heart and not to the arm ; to the justice of 
the cause and not to its strength. And when once this question is 
decided, his path is marked out. He must advance boldly, even 
should it be against the world and all its hosts, in the unwavering 
conviction that God himself will fight for him. 

The enemies of the Reformation thus passed from extreme rig 
our to extreme feebleness. They had already done so at Worms, 
and these abrupt transitions are ever appearing in the war which 
error makes upon truth. Every cause destined to give way is 
affected with an inward dissatisfaction, which makes it vacillating 
and dubious, and pushes it by turns from one extreme to the other. 
Far better were consistency and energy. It might be, that thereby 
the fall would be precipitated, but at all events when it did come, 
it would come gloriously. 

The Elector of Brandenburg, Joachim I, a brother of Albert, 
gave an example of this decision of character which is so rare, es 
pecially in our own age. Immovable in his principles, firm in his 
actions, knowing when necessary to resist the will of the pope, he 
opposed an iron hand to the progress of the Reformation. At 
Worms, he had insisted that Luther should not be heard, and even 
that he should be punished as a heretic, notwithstanding of his 
safe conduct. No sooner was the edict of Worms issued than he 
ordered it to be rigorously executed in all his states. Luther was 
able to estimate a character thus energetic, and distinguishing 
Joachim from his other opponents, said, " We can still pray for 
the Elector of Brandenburg." 1 The spirit of the prince seemed to 
have been communicated to his subjects. Berlin and Brandenburg 

1 Ilelwing, Gescli. dor Brandeb. ii, p. 605. 


long remained completely closed against the Reformation. But 
what was received slowly was kept faithfully, while countries which 
then received the gospel with joy, Belgium,, for instance, and West 
phalia, were soon to abandon it. Brandenburg, the last of the 
German states to enter on the paths of faith, was, at a latter period, 
to take its place in the foremost ranks of the Reformation. 1 

Luther did not receive the letter of the cardinal archbishop with 
out some suspicion of its having been dictated by hypocrisy, or in 
compliance with the counsels of Capito. He was silent, however, 
contenting himself with a declaration to the latter, that so long as 
the archbishop, who was scarcely capable of managing a small 
parish, would not lay aside the mask of the cardinalate and pomp 
of the episcopate, and become a simple minister of the word, it 
was impossible he coidd be in the way of salvation. 2 


Translation of the Bible Wants < f the Church Principles of the Keformatio:;. 
Alarm at Court Luther to the Archbishop Temptations of the Devil Condemna 
tion of the Sorbonne Melanctli :> s Reply Visit to Wittemberg, 

While Luther was thus combating error as if he had still beeu 
upon the field of battle, he was at work in his retreat as if he were 
a stranger to every thing that was taking place in the world. 
The moment had arrived when the Reformation was to pass from 
the speculations of theologians into common life, and yet the great 
instrument by which this transaction was to be effected was not 
yet in existence. This wondrous and mighty engine, destined 
to assail the edifice of Rome from all quarters, with bolts which 
would demolish its walls, to lift off the enormous weight under 
which the papacy held down the half-suffocated Church, and 
give to humanity itself an impulse which it should retain to the 
latest ages, was to come forth from the old castle of the Wartburg 
and enter the world with the Reformer the very day when his cap 
tivity should terminate. 

The further the Church was removed from the period when Jesus 
Christ, the true light of the world, dwelt in it, the more need she 
had of the lamp of the Word of God,, which was to transmit the 
brightness of Jesus Christ unimpaired to the latest ages. But this 

1 Hoc enim propriurn est illorum hominum (ex March. Brandeburg) ut quam se- 
mei in religioiie sententiam approbaverint, non facile deserant. (Leutingeri, Op. i, 41 .) 
This is a characteristic of those men (the Dukes of Brandenburg), that when once 
they have formed an opinion in religion, they do not easily abandon it. 3 Larvam 

cavdiualatus et pompana epiBcopalem able^are. (L. Ep. "i, p, la^.j 


divine Word was then unknown to the people. Attempts at trans 
lation, from the vulgate in 1477, 1490, and 1518, had succeeded ill, 
were almost unintelligible, and, from their high price, beyond 
the reach of the people. It had even been prohibited to give 
the Bible to the Germanic Church in the vulgar tongue. 1 Besides, 
the number of those able to read was inconsiderable, so long as 
there was no work in the German tongue of deep and universal 

Luther was called to give the Scriptures to his country, Italy. 
The same God who withdrew St. John to Patmos there to write 
his Revelation, had shut up Luther in the Wartburg to translate 
his Word. This great work, which it would have been difficult 
for him to undertake amid the distractions and occupations of Wit- 
temberg, was destined to establish the new edifice on the primitive 
rock, and bring back Christians, after so many ages of schol 
astic subtleties to the pure and primary source of redemption and 

The wants of the Church pleaded strongly ; they demanded this 
great work, and Luther was to be trained by his own deep ex 
perience for the performance of it. In fact, he had found in faith 
that spiritual repose which his agitated conscience and monastic 
ideas had long made him seek in his own merit and holiness. The 
doctrine of the Church, viz. scholastic theology, knew nothing of the 
consolations which faith gives, but these wero forcibly announced in 
Scripture, and there he found them. Faith in the Word of God had 
made him free. By means of it, he felt himself emancipated from the 
dogmatical authority of the Church, its hierarchy, its traditions, schol 
astic opinions, powerful prejudices, and all tyranny of man. The 
numerous and powerful links which had for ages chained and bound 
Christendom, were broken, destroyed, and scattered in fragments 
around him, and he nobly raised his head, free of every thing save the 
Word. This independence of men, this submission to God, which 
he had learned in the Holy Scriptures, he wished the Church to 
possess. But in order to accomplish this, it was necessary to 
give her back the revelation of God. It was necessary that a 
mighty hand should throw back the ponderous gates of that ar 
senal of the Word of God, in which Luther himself had found 
his armour, and that those vaults and ancient halls which no foot 
had traversed for ages, should be again opened wide to the Chris 
tian people for the day of battle. 

Luther had already translated different portions of the Holy 
Scriptures : the seven penitential Psalms had been his first labour. 2 

1 Codex Diplom. E jclesise Magunt, iv, p. 460. 2 Ps. vi, xxxii, xxxviii, li, cii, 

CX.^y, cxlvii. 



,1.0*11!? Christ, John Baptist, and the Reformation, alike began with 
the doctrine of repentance, which is the first beginning of renovation 
in the individual and in the race. These essays had been received 
with avidity : all wished for more, and this call from the people 
was to Luther a call from God himself. He formed the design 
of responding to it. He was a captive behind high walls. True ! 
He will employ his leisure in transferring the Word of God into 
the language of his people. This Word will shortly descend with 
him from the Wartburg ; it will circulate among the population 
of Germany, and put them in possession of spiritual treasures 
treasures like them, shut up within the hearts of a few pious men. 
" Let this singlebook," exclaims he, u be in all tongues, in all hands, 
before all eyes, in all ears, and in all hearts." 1 Admirable words ! 
which a distinguished society 2 for translating the Bible into the 
languages of all nations is now, after three centuries, engaged in 
carrying into effect. " The Scripture, without any commentary," 
says he on another occasion, " is the sun from which all teachers 
receive light." 

Such are the principles of Christianity and of the Reformation. 
According to those venerable words, we are not to take the Fathers 
in order to throw light on Scripture, but Scripture to throw light 
on the Fathers. The Reformers and the Apostles held up the 
Word of God alone for light, just as they hold up the sacrifice of 
C hrist alone for righteousness. To attempt to mix up human authori 
ty with this absolute authority of God, or human righteousness with 
this perfect righteousness of Christ, is to corrupt Christianity in its 
two foundations. Such are the tAvo fundamental heresies of 
Rome, heresies moreover which some teachers would fain intro 
duce, though, doubtless, in a modified form, into the bosom of the 

Luther opened the Greek text of the Evangelists and Apostles, 
and undertook the difficult task of making these inspired teachers 
speak his mother tongue an important epoch in the history of 
the Reformation which was thenceforth no longer in the hand of 
the Reformer. The Bible came forward .; Luther drew back : God 
showed himself, and man disappeared. The Reformer has placed 
THE BOOK in the hands of his contemporaries. Everyone can now 
listen to God himself. As for Luther, he from this time mingles in 
the crowd, and takes his place among those who come to draw at 
the common fountain of light and life. 

In the translation of the Holy Scriptures Luther found in abun 
dance that consolation and strength which were most necessary to 

1 Efr, solus Me liber omnium lingua, rnanu, oculis, auribus, eordibus, vcrsaretur. 
,L. Kp. ii, p. ilC.) 2 The Bible Society. 


him. Sick, isolated, saddened by the efforts of his enemies and 
the errors of some of his partisans, seeing his life wasting away 
in the gloom of this old castle, he had many fearful combats to 
maintain. In those times there was an inclination to transfer to 
the visible world the struggles which the soul maintains with its 
spiritual foes. The lively imagination of Luther easily gave a 
bodily shape to the emotions of his heart, while the superstition of 
the middle ages had still some hold upon his intellect, so that in 
this respect it may be said of him as has been said of Calvin in 
the punishment of heretics he had a remnant of popery. 1 In 
Luther s idea Satan was not merely an invisible though real being : he 
thought that this enemy of God appeared to man as he had appeared 
to Jesus Christ. Although the authenticity of several of the ac 
counts given on this subject in the Table Talk, and elsewhere, 
is more than doubtful, the historian is bound to point out this foible 
in the reformer. Never did these dark ideas assail him more than 
in the solitude of the Wartburg. He had defied the devil at 
Worms in the days of his strength ; but now all the power of the 
Keformer seemed broken and his glory tarnished. He was thrown 
aside. Satan was victorious in his turn, and Luther, in the 
anguish of his spirit thought he saw him raising his gigantic figure 
before him. pointing his threatening finger, triumphing with bitter 
and infernal leer, and gnashing his teeth in frightful rage. One day 
among others it is said, when Luther was working at his translation of 
the New Testament, he thought he saw Satan, who, dreadfully terri 
fied at this work, kept teazing him, and turning round and round 
him like a lion about to pounce upon his prey. Luther, frightened 
and irritated, seized his inkstand and threw it at the head of his 
enemy. The figure vanished and the inkstand struck against the 
wall. 2 

Luther s residence in the Wartburg began to be insupportable. 
He felt indignant at the pusillanimity of his protectors. Some 
times he remained a whole day absorbed in silent and profound 
meditation, and came out of it only to exclaim, " Oh that I were 
at Wittemberg! " At length he could hold out no longer : there 
has been enough of political management : he must see his friends 
again, hear them and speak to them. True ! he runs the risk of 
falling into the hands of his enemies, but nothing can stop him. To 
wards the end of November he secretly quits the Wartburg and 
sets out for Wittemberg. 3 

A new storm had just burst upon him. The Sorbonne had at 

1 M. Michelet, in his Memoires de Luther, devotes more than thirty pages to differ 
ent accounts of the apparition of the devil. 2 The keeper of the Wartburg 
is still careful to show the traveller the mark made by Luther s inkstand. 

3 Machete er sich heimlich aus seiner Patmo auf. (L. Op. xviii, p. 238.) 


length broken silence. This celebrated school of Paris, the first 
authority in the Church after the pope, the ancient and venerable 
fountain, whence theological dogmas had sprung, had just issued 
its verdict against the Reformation. 

The following are some of the propositions which it condemned : 
Luther had said, " God always pardons and remits sins gratui 
tously, and asks nothing of us in return but only to live in future 
according to his will." He had added, Of all mortal sins the 
most mortal is this, for any one to believe that he is not guilty 
before God of mortal and damnable sin." He had further said, 
"To burn heretics is contrary to the will of the Holy Spirit." 

To all these propositions, and many others which were quoted, 
the faculty of theology replied, " Heresy, anathema ! " l 

But a young man of twenty-four, of small stature, modest, and 
unostentatious, dared to take up the gauntlet which had been 
thrown down by the first school in the world. It was well known 
at Wittemberg what view ought to be taken of these pompous 
condemnations : it was known that Rome had yielded to the sug 
gestion of the Dominicans, and that the Sorbonne was dragged 
along by two or three fanatical doctors, who were designated at 
Paris by derisive nicknames. 2 Accordingly, Melancthon, in his 
apology, did not confine himself to the defence of Luther, but with 
the boldness which characterises his writings, carried the assault 
into the camp of his adversaries. " You say he is a manichean, 
a montanist ! let lire and flame repress his folly ! Which, pray, is 
inontanist ? Luther who wishes men to believe in the Holy Scrip 
tures, or yourselves who will have them to believe the views of 
men rather than the Word of God." 3 

To attribute more to man s word than to the Word of God was 
in fact the heresy of Montanus, as it is still that of the pope, and 
of all those who set the hierarchical authority of the Church, or 
the internal inspiration of mystieism above the positive declaration 
of the Sacred Writings. Accordingly, the young master of arts who 
had said, " I will lose my life sooner than my faith," 4 did not stop 
there He accused the Sorbonne of having obscured the gospel, 
extinguished faith, and substituted a vain philosophy for Chris 
tianity. 5 After the work of Melancthon the position of the question 

1 Determinatio theologorum Parisiensium super doctrina Lutherana. (Corp. Ref. 
i, p. 36fi ov .) 2 Damnarunt triumviri Beda, Quercus, et Christophorus. 

Nominasunt horum monstrorum etiam vulgo mine nota Belua, Stercus, Christoto- 
mus. (Z wing, E p. i, p. 176.) He was condemned by the triumvirs Beda,Quercus, and 
Christophorus. These are the names of three monsters now commonly known as 
Bellua (beast) Stercus (dang) and Christotomus (Christ-slayer.) 3 Corp. Ref. 

i, p. 39G.) * Scias me positurum animam citius quam fidem. (Ibid.) 

5 Ev:mgelium abscuracum est, fides extincta ... Ex Christianismo, contra omnem 
fcinsum Spiritus, facta est qusBdam philosophiea vivendi ratio. (Corp. Ref. i. p, 400.) 


was changed ; he proved to demonstration that heresy was at Paris 
and Rome, and catholic truth at Wittemberg. 

Meanwhile, Luther giving himself little concern with the con 
demnation of the Sorbonne, repaired in his knight s dress to the 
university seat. On the way different reports reached him, that a 
spirit of impatience and independence was manifesting itself among 
his adherents, and he was grieved to the heart. 1 At length he ar 
rived at Wittemberg without having been recognised, and stopped 
at the house of Amsdorff. Forthwith all his friends were secretly 
summoned, 2 Melancthon especially, who had often said, " If I must 
be deprived of him I prefer death. 3 On their arrival, what a meet 
ing ! what joy ! The captive of the Wartburg seated amidst 
them enjoys all the sweets of Christian friendship. He learns the 
progress of the Reformation, and the hopes of his brethren; and, 
overjoyed at what he sees and hears, 4 prays, gives thanks, and 
then, after a short delay, returns to the Wartburg. 


New ReformsGabriel Zwilling on the Mass The University The Elector Mon - 
achism attacked Emancipation of the Monks Disturbances Chapter of the 
Augustins The Mass and Carlstadt First Supper Importance of the Mass in 
the Roman System. 

Luther s joy was well founded the Reformation was then ad 
vancing at an immense pace. Feldkirchen, always in the advanced 
guard, had first mounted to the assault : the main body was now 
shaken, and the power which carried the Reformation from doc 
trine which it had purified, into worship, common life, and the 
constitution of the Church now manifested itself by a new explo 
sion still more formidable to the papacy than the former had been. 

Rome, disencumbered of the Reformer, thought she had done 
with heresy. But in a short time all was changed. Death 
precipitated the man who had laid Luther under interdict from 
the pontifical throne. Disturbances arising in Spain, obliged 
Charles V to repair beyond the Pyrenees. War broke out be 
tween this prince and Francis I, and, as if this had not been 

Instead of Christianity there was adopted allegiance contrary to the meaning of th 
Spirit, a certain philosophical mode ol life. 1 Per viam vexatus rumore 

varisdenostrorum quoruudam irnportunitate. (L. Ep. ii, p. 109.) He was grieved by 
the way, "by various rumours as to the rashness of some of our people. 

2 Liess in der Stille seine Freunde fodern. (L. Op. xviii, p. 238. 3 Quo si 

mini carendum est, mortem furtius tulero. (Corp. Ref. i. p. 453 455.) I could bear 
death more easily than want him. * Omnia vehementer placent quae video 

et audio. (L. Ep. ii, p. 109.) All that I see and hear pleases me exceedingly. 


enough to occupy the Emperor, Solyman advanced into Hungary. 
Charles, attacked on all sides, saw himself constrained to forget the 
monk at Worms, and his religious innovations. 

About the same time the vessel of the Reformation which, 
driven in all directions by contrary winds, had well nigh foundered, 
righted and floated firmly on the waves. 

It was in the Augustin Convent of Wittemberg that the Refor 
mation broke out. We must not be surprised at this : the Re 
former was no longer there, but no power could banish the spirit 
which had animated him. 

For some time the church in which Luther so often preached 
had resounded with strange doctrines. Gabriel Zwilling, the 
preacher of the convent, a monk full of zeal, preacheJ. with ardour 
in favour of the Reformation. As if Luther, whose name was every 
where proclaimed, had become too powerful and too illustrious, God 
selected feeble and obscure individuals to commence the Reforma 
tion which Luther had prepared. " Jesus Christ," said the 
preacher, " instituted the sacrament of the altar as a memorial of 
Vis death, not to make it an object of adoration. To adore it is 
teal idolatry. The priest who communicates alone commits a sin. 
No prior is entitled to compel a monk to say mass alone. Let 
one, two, or three officiate and let all the others receive the sacra 
ment in both kinds." 1 

Such was the demand of friar Gabriel, and these bold words were 
listened to with approbation by the other friars, especially by those 
who came from the Low Countries. 2 Being disciples of the gospel 
why should they not in everything conform themselves to its com 
mands? Had not Luther himself, in the month of August, 
written to Melancthon, " Never more from this time will I say a 
private mass." 3 Thus the monks, those soldiers of the hierarchy, 
set free by the Word of God, boldly took part against Rome. 

At Wittemberg they experienced an obstinate resistance on the 
part of the prior. Recollecting that all things ought to be done in 
order, they yielded, still declaring that to maintain the mass was 
to oppose the Gospel of God. 

The prior had carried the day : one had proved stronger than 
all. It might therefore be supposed that the movement of the 
Augustins had only been one of those freaks of insubordination of 
which convents were so often the theatre. But it was in reality 
the Spirit of God that was then agitating Christendom. An isolated 

i Einem 2oder 3 befehlenMess zu halten, und die andern 12 von denen, das Sacra 
ment sub utraqae specie mit empt dhen. (Corp. Ret. i, p. 460.) 2 Deimeiste 
Thtil jener Parthaei Niedurlamcler seyn. (Ibid. 476.) 3 Sed et ego amplius 
lion faciam missam privatim in isternurn. (L. Ep. ii, p. 36.) 


cry sent forth from the recess of a monastery found a thousand 
echoing voices, and that which it was wished to keep confined 
within the walls of a convent, came forth and assumed a distinct 
shape in the very heart of the city. 

A rumour of the dissensions of the monks was soon noised in 
the town. The citizens and students of the University took part 
either for or against the mass. The electoral court was alarmed. 
Frederick, in astonishment, sent his chancellor Pontanus to Wit- 
temberg, with orders, to tame the monks, by putting them, if ne 
cessary, on bread and water; 1 and on the 12th October, at seven 
in the morning, a deputation of professors, of whom Melancthon 
was one, repaired to the convent to exhort the monks not to make 
any innovation, 2 or at least to wait. On this all their zeal revived : 
unanimous in their belief, with the exception of the prior who 
combated them, they appealed to the Holy Scriptures, to the in 
telligence of the faithful, and the consciences cf theologians, and 
two days after returned a written declaration. 

The teachers now examined the question more closely, and per 
ceived that truth was on the side of the monks. They went to 
convince, but were themselves convinced. What were they to 
do ? Their conscience spake aloud ; their distress continually in 
creased: at last, after long hesitation, they adopted a bold reso 

On the 20th October, the University gave in their report to the 
Elector. " Let your Electoral Highness," said they to him, after 
exposing the errors of the mass, " Let your Electoral Highness abo 
lish all abuses, lest Christ, on the day of judgment, upbraid us as 
he once did Capernaum." 

It is no longer some obscure monks who speak, but that Univer 
sity which all sober men have hailed for years as the national 
school. The very means employed to stifle the Keformation are 
going to contribute to its extension. 

Melancthon, with the boldness which he showed in speculation, 
published fifty-five propositions with a view to enlighten the public 
mind : 

" Just," says he, " as to look at a crucifix is not to do a good 
work, but simply to contemplate a sign which reminds us of the 
death of Christ. 

"As to look at the sun is not to do a good work, but simply to 
contemplate a sign which reminds us of Christ and his gospel. 

4 So to partake of the table of the Lord is not to do a good 

1 Wollen die Mbncbe nicht Mess halten. sie werden s bald in der Kitchen und 

Keller empfinden (Corp. Ref. i,p. 461.) 3 Hit denj Mess halten keiu 

Meaerung machen. (Ibid.) 


work, but simply to make use of a sign which reminds of the grace 
given us by Christ. 

" But herein is the difference. The symbols invented by men 
simply recall what they signify, whereas the signs given by God 
not only recall the things, but also make the heart sure of the will 
of God. 

" As the sight of a cross does not justify, so the mass does not 

" As the sight of a cross is not a sacrifice for our own sins or for 
those of others, so the mass is not a sacrifice. 

" There is only one sacrifice, only one satisfaction Jesus Christ. 
Out of him there is none. 

"Let the bishops who do not oppose the impiety of the mass be 
anathema." 1 

Thus spake the pious and gentle Philip. 

The Elector was in consternation. His wish had been to repress 
some young monks, and lo ! all the University, with Melancthon 
himself, rise up in their defence. To wait appeared to him to be in 
all things the surest means of success. He had no taste for sudden 
reforms, and wished every opinion to have full opportunity of show 
ing itself. "Time," thought he, " throws light on all things, and 
brings them to maturity." And yet the Keformation advances in 
spite of him with rapid steps, and threatens to carry every thing 
along with it. Frederick used all his efforts to arrest it. His au 
thority, the weight of his character, the arguments which appeared 
to him most decisive every thing was put in requisition. He 
sent a message to the theologians , " Dont be in a haste ; you 
are too few in number to carry out such a reformation. If it is 
founded on the holy Gospel, others will perceive it, and the whole 
Church will concur with you in abolishing these abuses. Speak, 
debate, preach as much on these subjects as you please ; but pre 
serve ancient customs." 

Such was the struggle which took place on the subject of the 
mass. The monks had gone up courageously to the assault ; the 
theologians, for a moment undecided, had soon supported them. 
The prince and his ministers alone defended the place. It has been 
said that the Reformation was effected by the power and authority 
of the Elector ; but so far from this, the assailants were obliged to 
retire at the venerated voice of Frederick, and the mass was saved 
for some days. 

Moreover, the hottest of the assault had already been directed 
to another point. Friar Gabriel continued his fervid harangues in 

1 Signa ab hominibus reperta admonent tantum : signaa Deotradita,prsBtcrquam 
quod admonent, certificant etiam cor de voluutate Dei. (Corp. Rtf. i, p. 478.) 



the church of the Augustius. It was against monachism itself 
that he now directed those redoubled WOAVS. If the mass consti 
tuted the strength of the Romish doctrine, monachisin constituted 
the strength of the hierarchy. These, therefore, were the two first 
positions which required to be carried. 

" Nobody," exclaimed Gabriel, according to the prior s account, 
" nobody m convents observes the commandments of God; nobody 
can be saved under the monk s cowl; 1 every man in a cloister 
must have entered it in the name of the devil. Vows of chastity, 
poverty, and obedience are contrary to the Gospel." 

These strange addresses were reported to the prior, who took 
good care to keep away from the church, that he might not hear 

"Gabriel," it was also said, " wishes every means to be taken to 
empty cloisters." If monks are met in the street, it is proper, ac 
cording to him, to pull them by the frock, and point the finger at 
them; and if mockery does not succeed in making them quit the 
convent, they must be violently hunted out of it. "Break open, 
destroy, throw down the monasteries," said he, " so that not a 
vestige of them may remain, and on the site which they have so 
long occupied let it be impossible to find any one of the stones 
which served to shelter so much idleness and superstition." 2 

The monks were astonished ; their conscience told them that 
what Gabriel said was only too true that the life of a monk was 
not conformable to the will of God, and that none was enabled 
to dispose of them but themselves. 

Thirteen Augustins left the convent at once, and, laying aside 
the dress of their order, assumed common clothes. Those of them 
who had some education attended the lectures in the University, 
that they might one day become useful to the Church, and those 
whose minds were little cultivated sought to gain their living by 
working with their own hands, according to the injunction of the 
apostle and the example of the worthy burghers of Wittemberg. 8 
One of them, who was acquainted with the trade of carpenter, en 
tered with the corporation, and resolved to marry. 

If Luther s entrance into the convent of the Augustins of Er- 
furth was the first germ of the Reformation, the departure of these 
thirteen monks from the convent of the Augustins of Wittemberg 
was a sign that it was beginning to take possession of Christendom. 
For thirty years Erasmus had been exposing the uselessness, the 

1 Kein Mbnch werde in der Kappe selig. Corp. Ref. i. p. 4"".) 3 Dass man 

nicht oben Stiick von einem Kloster da sey gestanden, merken mbge. (Ibib.,p. 483.) 

s " Etliclie unter deu Biirgern, etliche unter den Studenton," says the Prior in his 
complaint to the Elector. (Ibid.) 


follies, and vices of the monks, and with him all Europe had laughed 
or felt indignant. But it was no longer an affair of sarcasm. Thir 
teen spirited and brave men again appeared in the midst of their 
fellow-men to render themselves useful to society, and fulfil the 
orders of God. The marriage of Feldkirchen had been the first 
defeat of the hierarchy the emancipation of these thirteen 
Augustins was the second. Monachism, which had been formed 
the moment the Church commenced her period of bondage 
and error, behoved to fall the moment she recovered liberty and 

This bold proceeding caused a general fermentation in Wittemberg. 
Admiration was felt for the men who came to share in the common 
toils, and they were received as brethren. At the same time, cries 
were heard against those who persisted in remaining idly hid be 
hind the walls of a. monastery. The monks who adhered to the 
prior trembled in their cells, and he, carried away by the uni 
versal movement, discontinued the celebration of low mass. 

The smallest concession at so critical a moment could not but 
hasten the progress of events. This order by the prior caused a 
very lively sensation in the town and the University, and produced 
a sudden explosion. Among the students and citizens of Wittem 
berg were some turbulent men, whom the least excitement stirs 
up and hurries into culpable disorders. They were indignant 
at the idea that low mass, which was suspended even by the su 
perstitious prior, should still be said in the parish church, and on 
Tuesday, the 3rd Dec., when mass was about to be chanted, 
they made a sudden rush towards the altar, carried off the books, 
and drove away the priests. The Council and the University were 
indignant, and met to punish the authors of these misdeeds. But 
the passions, when once roused, are not easily calmed. The Cor 
deliers had not taken part in the reform movement of the Augus 
tins. The next day some students put up a threatening placard on 
the door of their monastery : thereafter forty students entered their 
church, and, without proceeding to actual violence, mocked the 
monks, who, in consequence, did not venture to say mass except 
in the choir. Towards evening, the fathers received intimation 
to be upon their guard. " The students," it was said, " intended 
to attack the monastery ! . . ." The monks in alarm, not know 
ing how to defend themselves against these real or supposed at 
tacks, hastily petitioned the Council to defend them. Some soldiers 
were sent, but the enemy did not appear. The University caused 
the students who had taken part in these disturbances to be ar 
rested. They were discovered to be students from Erfurth , already 


marked for iusubordination. 1 University penalties were inflicted 
on them. 

Still it was felt necessary carefully to examine the lawfulness of 
monastic vows. A chapter, consisting of the Augustins of Thu- 
lingia and Misnia, met at Wittemberg in the month of December. 
Their views coincided with Luther s. They declared on the one 
hand that monastic vows were not sinful, but, on the other, that 
they were not obligatory. " In Christ," said they, "there is neither 
laic nor monk : every one is free to quit the monastery or to 
remain in it. Let him who departs, not abuse his liberty let him 
who remains, obey his superiors and that from love." Then they 
abolished mendicancy and masses said for money : they also decreed 
that the most learned among them should apply themselves to the 
teaching of the Word of God, and that the others should support 
their brethren by the work of their hands. 2 

The question of vows thus seemed determined, but that of the mass 
remained undecided. The Elector continued to oppose the torrent, 
and protected an institution which was still standing in every part 
of Christendom. The orders of an indulgent prince were unable, how 
ever, long to restrain men s minds. The brain of Carlstadt especi 
ally, fermented amid the general fermentation. Full of zeal, honesty 
and intrepidity, and ready, like Luther, to sacrifice every thing for 
the truth, he had less wisdom and moderation than the Reformer. 
He was not free from a love of vain-glory, and, with a decided 
inclination to go to the bottom of every question, he had little 
judgment and little clearness in his ideas. Luther had drawn him 
from the midst of the schoolmen, and turned him towards the 
study of Scripture, but Carlstadt had not patience to study the 
original tongues, and had not perceived, like his friend, the full 
sufficiency of the Word of God. Accordingly he was often seen 
to fasten on the most singular interpretations. So long as Luther 
was at his side, the superiority of the master kept the scholar 
within due bounds. But Carlstadt was now at liberty, and this 
little man, of sallow tint, who had never been conspicuous for elo 
quence, was heard at the university and the church, especially in 
Wittemberg, giving eager expression to ideas which, though some 
times profound, were often enthusiastic and extravagant. " What 
folly," exclaimed he, "to think that the Reformation should be 
left to the agency of God alone ! A new order of things begins. 
The hand of man must interpose. Wo to him who stays behind, 
snd will not mount the breach in the cause of the mighty God . . ." 

1 In Surnma es sollen die Aufruhr etliche Studenten von Erffurth erwerckt haberi. 
(Corp. lief, i, p. 490.) 2 Ibid., p. 456. The editors date this decree in October 

totbre the friars had left the convent of Wittemberg;. 

3 d 


Tlie words of the archdeacon communicated to others the im 
patience which animated himself. Following his example, indi 
viduals who were sincere and straightforward exclaimed, "All that 
the popes have ordained is impious. Let us not become accomplices 
in these abominations by allowing them to subsist. What is con 
demned by the word of God must be abolished in Christendom, 
whatever be the ordinances of men. If the heads of the State and 
Church Avill not do their duty, let us do ours. Let us renounce 
negotiations, conferences, theses, and debates, and have recourse to 
the true remedy for all these evils. There must be a second Elijah 
to destroy the altars of Baal." 

The re-establishment of the Last Supper at this moment of fer 
mentation and enthusiasm doubtless could not exhibit the solemnity 
and sacredness of its institution by the Son of God the evening be 
fore his death, and almost at the foot of his cross. But if God now 
made use of feeble, and perhaps passionate men, it was still his 
hand which re-established the feast of his love in the bosom of 
liis Church. 

As early as the month of October, Carlstadt, with twelve of his 
friends, had secretly celebrated the Lord s Supper, agreeably to 
its original institution. The Sunday before Christmas he intimated 
from the pulpit that, on the feast of the Circumcision, being new 
New-year s-day, he would dispense the Supper under the two kinds 
of bread and wine to all who should present themselves at the altar, 
that he would omit all useless ceremonies, 1 and in celebrating this 
mass would not put on either cope or chasuble. 

The Council, in alarm, requested Counsellor Beyer to prevent so 
great an irregularity. On this Carlstadt resolved not to wait for 
the time he had appointed. On Christmas, 1521, he preaches in 
the parish church, on the necessity of abandoning the mass, and 
receiving the sacrament under the two kinds. After sermon he 
descends to the altar, pronounces the words of consecration in 
German, then turning to the people, who were all attention, he 
says in a solemn tone, " Whosoever feels the burden of his sins, 
and is hungering and thirsting for divine grace, let him come and 
receive the body and blood of the Lord." 2 Afterwards, without 
raising the host, he distributes the bread and wine to all, saying, 
" This is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting 

Different sentiments pervaded the audience. Some feeling that 
new grace from God was given to the church, came to the altar 

1 Und die anderen ScMrymstepe alle aussen JasKen. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 512.) 

2 Wer init Siinden beschwert und nach der Gnade Gottes hungrig und durstlg 
(Ibid., p. 540.) 


under deep emotion and in silence. Others, attracted particularly 
by the novelty, approached with agitation and a certain degree of 
impatience. Only five communicants presented themselves at the 
confessional. The others simply took part in the public confession 
of sins. Carlstadt gave general absolution to all, enjoining no 
other penitence than this, " Sin no more." At the close they sang 
the hymn, Lamb of God. 1 

No opposition was made to Carlstadt: these reforms had already 
obtained the public consent. The archdeacon dispensed the Supper 
again on New-year s-day ; then, on the following Sunday, and 
thereafter, the ordinance was regularly observed. Einsidlen, one 
of the Elector s counsellors, having upbraided Carlstadt with 
seeking his own glory rather than the salvation of his hearers, 
" Mighty Sir," replied he, " there is no death that can make me 

abandon Scripture. The word has come to me so readily 

Wo to me if I preach not." 2 Carlstadt married soon after. 

In the month of January the town council of Wittemberg and 
the university regulated the celebration of the Supper in accord 
ance with the new form. At the same time the means were taken 
into consideration of restoring the moral influence of religion ; for 
the Reformation behoved to re-establish simultaneously faith, wor 
ship, and manners. It was decreed that mendicants, whether lay 
or not, should no longer be tolerated, and that in each street a 
pious man should be charged to take care of the poor, and cite 
scandalous offenders before the university or the council. 3 

Thus fell the mass, the principal bulwark of Rome ; thus the 
Reformation passed from doctrine to worship. Three ages before, 
the mass and transubstantiation had been definitively established, 4 
and thereafter every thing in the Church had taken a new direction 
the general tendency being to give glory to man and reverence to 
the priest. The holy sacrament had been worshipped ; feasts had 
been instituted in honour of the greatest miracles ; the adoration 
of Mary had obtained an important place ; the priest who, in his 
consecration, received the strange power of " making the body of 
Christ," had been separated from the laity, and had become, 
according to Thomas Aquinas, a mediator between God and man; 5 
celibacy had been proclaimed as an inviolable law ; auricular confes 
sion had been imposed on the people, and the cup taken from them : 
for how could humble laity be placed on the same level with priests 

1 Wenn man communicirt hat, so singt man : Agnus Dei carmen. (Corp. 17 ef. i, p. 
540.) SMiristdas Wort fast in grosser Gesclntindigkeiteingefallen. (lbid.p.545.) 

* Kelnen offenbaren Sunder zu dulden .... (Ibid., p. 540.) * By the Lateran 

Council, 1215. 6 Sacerdos constituitur medius inter Deum et populum. (Th. 

Aquin. Summa, iii, 22.) The priest is appointed mediator between God and the 


entrusted with the most august ministry? The mass was an insult 
to the Son of God ; it was opposed to the perfect grace of his cross 
and the spotless glory of his eternal kingdom. But if it degraded 
our Lord, it exalted the priest whom it invested with the extraordin 
ary power of reproducing in his hands, at will, his sovereign Creator. 
The Church appeared henceforth to exist, not in order to preach 
the gospel, but simply to reproduce Christ corporeally in the midst 
of her. 1 The pontiff of Rome, whose most humble servants at 
pleasure created the body of God himself, sat as God in the temple 
of God, and ascribed to himself a spiritual treasure out of which he 
drew unlimited indulgences for the pardon of sins. 

Such were the gross errors which, together with the mass, had 
for three centuries been imposed on the Church. The Reformation, 
in abolishing this human institution, abolished all these abuses. 
The act of the Archdeacon of Wittemberg was therefore one of high 
consequence. The sumptuous festivals which amused the people, 
the worship of Mary, the pride of the priesthood, the power of the 
pope, all tottered with the mass. Glory was withdrawn from the 
priests and restored to Jesus Christ. The Reformation thus took 
an immense step in advance. 


Spurious ReformThe new Prophets The Prophets at Wittemberg Melanrthon 
The Elector Luther, Carlstadt, and Images Disorders Luther sent for Ha 
hesitates not Dangers. 

Still men under the influence of prejudice might have been unable 
to see in the work which was being accomplished more than the effect 
of vain enthusiasm. Facts themselves behoved to prove the contrary 
and demonstrate that there is a wide space between a reformation 
founded on the word of God and a giddy fanaticism. 

When a great religious fermentation takes place in the Church, 
some impure elements always mingle with the manifestation of the 
truth. One or more false reforms proceeding from man rise to the 
surface, and serve as a testimony or countersign to true reform. 
Thus, in the days of Christ, several false Messiahs attested that the 
true Messiah had appeared. The Reformation of the sixteenth cen 
tury could not be accomplished without exhibiting a similar pheno 
menon. The place where it appeared was the little town of 

1 Perfectio hujus sacramenti non est in usu fidelium. se,d in consecratione materiae. 
(Th. Aquin. Summa, Quacst, 80.) The perfection of this sacrament is not in its use to 
the faithful but in the consecration of the matter. 


There were some men who, excited by the great events which 
then agitated Christendom, aspired to direct revelations from 
the Deity, instead of simply seeking sanctification of heart, 
and who pretended they had a call to complete the reformation 
which had been feebly sketched by Luther. "What use is there," 
said they, ".in attaching oneself so strictly to the Bible ? The Bible ; 
always the Bible ! Can the Bible speak to us? Is it not insufficient to 
instruct us ? Had God designed to teach us by a book, would he not 
have sent a Bible from heaven ? It is by the Spirit only that we can 
be illumined. God himself speaks to us. God himself reveals to us 
what we ought to do and what we ought to say." Thus, like the 
partisans of Rome, these fanatics attacked the fundamental prin 
ciple on which the whole Reformation rests the sufficiency of the 
Word of God. 

A simple weaver, named Nicholas Storck, announced that the 
angel Gabriel had appeared to him during the night, and after 
having communicated to him things which he could not yet 
reveal, had said to him, " Thou, thou shalt sit upon my throne." * 
An old student of Wittemberg, named Mark Stubner, joined 
Storck, and forthwith abandoned his studies, having, as he said, 
received the gift of interpreting the Holy Scriptures immediately 
from God. Mark Thomas, also a weaver, added to their number, 
and a new adept, Thomas Munzer, a man of a fanatical spirit, gave 
a regular organisation to this new sect. Storck, wishing to follow 
the example of Christ, chose among his adherents twelve apostles 
and seventy-two disciples. All of these openly announced, as a 
sect in our days has done, that apostles and prophets are at length 
restored to the Church of God. 2 

Shortly after the new prophets, pretending to walk in the footsteps 
of those of ancient times, delivered their message. " Woe ! Woe !" 
said they. " A church governed by men so corrupt as the bishops 
cannot be the church of Christ. The wicked rulers of Christen 
dom will ere long be overthrown. In five, six, or seven years, uni 
versal desolation will burst forth. The Turk will seize upon Ger 
many : all the priests, even those who are married, will be put 
to death. No wicked man, no sinner will be left alive; and after 
the earth shall have been purified by blood, God will set up his 
kingdom in it : Storck will be put in possession of supreme autho 
rity, and will commit the government of the nations to saints. 5 

1 Advolasse Gabrielem Angelum. (Camerarii Vita Melancth. p. 48.) 2 Breviter 

de sese prsedicant, viros esse propheticos et apostolicos. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 514.) Briefly 
they declare that they are prophetical and apostolical men. 3 Ut rerum potiatur, 

et instauret. sacra, et respublicas tradat sanctis viris tenendas. (Camerar. Vit. Mel. 
p. 45,) To become supreme renew sacred things, and entrust governments to the 
hands of holy men. 


Henceforth there will be only one faith and one baptism. The 
day of the Lord is at hand, and we are touching on the end of the 
world. Woe! Woel Woe!" Then declaring that the baptism re 
ceived in infancy was of no value, the new prophets invited all 
men to come and receive the true baptism at their hands, as a 
sign of introduction into the new Church of God. 

These discourses made a strong impression on the people. Some 
pious souls were moved at the idea that prophets were restored to 
the Church, and all who loved the marvellous threw themselves 
into the arms of the eccentric men of Zwickau. 

But scarcely had this old heresy which had formerly existed in 
the times of Montanism, and in the middle ages, again found fol 
lowers than it encountered a powerful opponent in the Eeforma- 
tion. Nicolas Haussman, to whom Luther bore this fine testi 
mony, " What we teach, he practises," 1 was pastor of Zwickau. 
This good man did not allow himself to be led astray by the pre 
tensions of the false prophets. He laid an arrest on the innovations 
which Storck and his adherents wished to introduce, and in this 
his two deacons concurred with him. The fanatics, repulsed by 
the ministers of the Church, plunged into another excess. They 
formed assemblies, in which revolutionary doctrines were professed. 
The people were excited, and disturbances broke out ; a priest, 
who was carrying the holy sacrament, was assailed with volleys of 
stones. 2 The civil authority interposed, and threw the most violent 
into prison. 3 Indignant at this proceeding, and impatient to 
justify themselves and state their complaint, Storck, Mark Thomas, 
and Stubner, repaired to Wittemberg. 4 

They arrived on the 27th December, 1521. Storck walked in 
front with the bearing and mien of a trooper. 5 Mark Thomas and 
Stubner followed him. The disquiet which prevailed in Wittem 
berg favoured their designs. The students and burghers deeply 
moved, and already in a state of fermentation, were a soil well 
fitted for the new prophets. 

Thinking themselves sure of their support, they immediately re 
paired to the professors of the university, in order to obtain a 
testimony in their favour. " We," said they, " are sent by God 
to instruct the people. We hold familiar converse with the 
Lord; we know things to come 6 in a word, we are apostles and 

1 Quod -nos docemus, ille facit. = Em Friester der das Venerabile getra- 

gen mit Steinen geworfen. (Seek. p. 482.) 3 gunt et illic in vincula corijecti. 

(Mel. Corp. Ref. i, p. 513.) 4 Hue advolarunt tres viri, duo lanifices, literarum 

rudes, literatus tertius est. (Ibid.) Three men hastened hither, two of them clothiers 
of no education, and the third educated. 6 Inccdens more et habitu militum, 

istorum quos Lanzknecht dicimus. (L. Ep. ii, p. 245.) 6 Esse gibi cum Deo 

familiaria colloquia, videre futura .... (Mel. Elector!, 27th December, 1521. 
Corp. Ref. i, p. 514J 


prophets, and we appeal for the fact to Doctor Luther." This 
strange language astonished the professors. 

" Who ordained you to preach?" asked Melancthon of Stubner, 
his old student, who had lodged in his house, " Our Lord God." 
" Have you written any books? " Our Lord God has forbidden 
me." Melancthon is moved, astonished, and alarmed. 

" There are extraordinary spirits in these men," says he, " but 
what kind of spirits ? Luther alone can determine. On the one 
hand, let us beware of extinguishing the Spirit of God, and on the 
other, of being seduqed by the spirit of the devil." Storck, who 
was of a restless temper, soon quitted Wittemberg. Stubner re 
mained. Animated with an ardent spirit of proselytism, he went 
up and down the town, speaking sometimes to one, and some 
times to another. Several acknowledged him as a prophet of 
God. He applied particularly to a Suabian, named Cellarius, a 
friend of Melancthon, who kept a school, in which he instructed a 
great number of young people in literature, and who soon became 
a, firm believer in the mission of the new apostles. 

Melancthon became the more uncertain and perplexed. The 
visions of the new prophets did not disturb him so much as their 
new doctrine on baptism. It seemed to him agreeable to reason, 
and he considered it a subject worthy of examination; " for," said 
he, " it is not right either to admit or reject any thing lightly." 1 

Such is the spirit of the Reformation. Melancthon s hesitancy 
and anxiety are proofs of the uprightness of his heart, and per 
haps do him more honour than a systematic opposition could have 

The Elector, whom Melancthon named " the lamp of Israel" 2 
was also hesitating. Prophets and apostles in the electorate of 
Saxony, as formerly at Jerusalem ! " This is an important affair," 
said he, " and as a layman I cannot comprehend it. But sooner 
than act against God, I will take my staff in my hand and quit 
my throne." 

At last he desired his counsellors to say to the professors that they 
had enough of trouble on their hands at Wittemberg, that in all 
probability the pretensions of the men of Zwickau were only a de 
lusion of the devil, and that the wisest course seemed to be to let 
the whole affair go off; that nevertheless, in every case where his 
Electoral Highness saw the will of God clearly, he would not take 
counsel, either of brother or mother, but would be ready to suffer 
every thing for the cause of truth. 3 

1 Censebat enim neque admittendum neque rejiciendum quicquam temere. (Catner 
ViL Mel. p. 49.) a Elector! lucernaa Israel. (Ibid. p. 513.) * Dariiber aucij 

k-iden was S. C. G. leideu sollt. U>id. p. 537.) 



Luther in the Wartburg was apprised of the agitation which pre 
vailed at the court and at Wittemberg. Strange men had appeared, 
and it was difficult to say whence their message came. He in 
stantly perceived that God had permitted these sad events to 
humble his servants, and urge them by trials to make greater en 
deavours after sanctification. 

" Your Electoral Highness," wrote he to Frederick, " for many 
years made search for relics in all countries. God has listened to 
your desires, and sent you a cross quite entire, with nails, spears, 
and scourges . . . Grace and prosperity to the new relic! .... 
Only let your Highness extend your arms without fear, and allow 
the nails to sink into your flesh !....! always expected that 
Satan would send us this sore plague . . . ." 

But at the same time nothing appeared to him more urgent than 
to secure others in the liberty which he claimed for himself. He 
had not two weights and two measures." " Beware," wrote he 
to Spalatin, "of throwing them into prison; let not the prince 
ern brae his hands in the blood of these new prophets." * Luther was 
far before his age, and even before several other Reformers, on the 
subject of religious liberty. 

Circumstances continued to become more serious at Wittem- 
berg. 2 

Carlstadt rejected several of the doctrines of the new prophets, 
and in particular their anabaptism; but there is in religious en 
thusiasm something contagious, from which a head like his could 
not easily defend itself. No sooner had the men of Zwickau ar 
rived at Wittemberg than Carlstadt quickened his pace in the 
prosecution of violent reforms. " It is necessary," said he, " to make 
an assault on all impious customs, and overturn them in one day. 8 
Calling to mind all the passages of Scripture against images, he 
declaimed with increasing energy against the idolatry of Rome. 
They bow and crouch before these idols," exclaimed he, " they 
kindle tapers to them, and present offerings to them. . . . Let 
us arise and pluck them from their altars!" 

These words did not sound in vain in the ears of the people. 
They entered the churches, carried off the images, broke them in 
pieces, and burnt them. 4 It would have been better to wait till 
their abolition had been legally determined; but it was thought 
that the tardiness of the leadejrs was compromising the Reforma 
tion itself. 

Shortly, to hear these enthusiasts, there were no longer any true 

1 Ne princeps manus crnentet in prophetis. (L.Epp. ii, p. 135.) 3 Ubi fiebant 

omnia in dies difficiliora. (Camer. Vit. Mel. p. 49.) 3 Irruendum et demolier. 

dum statim. We must rush in and demolish them instantly. (Ibid.) * Die 

lidder zu stiirmen uud aus den Kirehen zu werfen. (Math. p. 31.) 


Christians in Wittemberg -save those who did not confess, who 
assailed the priests, and ate flesh on forbidden days. Any one 
suspected of not rejecting all the observances of Rome as inven 
tions of the devil was a worshipper of Baal. " It is necessary," 
exclaimed they, " to form a church composed only of saints." 

The citizens of Wittemberg presented certain articles to the 
Council for their adoption. Several of these articles were con 
formable to evangelical morality. In particular, -they asked that 
all places of public amusement should be shut. 

But Carlstadt soon went still farther; he began to despise learn 
ing; and the old professor was heard from his chair counselling 
his students to return to their homes, resume the hoe, hold the 
plough, and quietly cultivate the ground, since it was by the sweat 
of his brow that man was to eat bread. George Mohr, master 
of the school-boys at Wittemberg, led astray by the same crotchet, 
called from his school window to the assembled citizens, to come 
and take away their children. What was the use of making them 
study ? Storck and Stubner had never been at the university, and 
yet they were prophets. In preaching the gospel, therefore, a 
citizen was worth as much, perhaps worth more than all the 
teachers of the world. 

Thus arose doctrines in direct opposition to the Reformation, 
which the revival of letters had prepared. It was with the armour 
of theological science that Luther had attacked Rome; and yet the 
enthusiasts of Wittemberg, like the fanatical monks, whom Eras 
mus and Reuchlin had combated, pretended to trample all human 
knowledge under their feet. Should Vandalism come to be es 
tablished, the hope of the world was lost. A new invasion of 
barbarism would quench the light which God had again kindled in 

The effects of these strange harangues were soon seen. Men s 
minds were prejudiced, agitated, turned aside from the gospel; the 
university was disorganised, and the students becoming demoral 
ised were dispersed the governments of Germany recalling such 
as belonged to them. 1 Thus the men who wished to reform, and 
give life to every thing, were proceeding in a course of destruc 
tion. " One last effort more," exclaimed the Mends of Rome, who 
were every where resuming courage " one last effort more, and 
all will be gained." 2 

The only means of saving the Reformation was a prompt suppres 
sion of the excesses of the fanatics ; but who could do it ? Melanc- 
thon? He was too young, too feeble, too much agitated himself 

1 EtlicTie Fursten ihre Bewamlten abprefordert. (Corp. Ref. 5, p. 560.) 3 Perdita 
t funditus diruta. (Cam. Vit. Mel. p. 52.) 


by these strange apparitions. The Elector? He was the most 
pacific man of his age. To build the castles of Altenburg, Weimar, 
and Coburg, to adorn the churches with the fine paintings of Lucas 
Cranach, to perfect the music of his chapels, to promote the 
prosperity of his university, to render his people happy ; to stop 
in the midst of the children whom he met playing on the road, 
and distribute little presents among them, such were the sweetest 
occupations of his life. And now, as he advanced in life, would he 
come to close quarters with fanatics, and oppose violence to violence ! 
How could the good, the pious Frederick resolve to do so? 

Accordingly the evil continued, and none appeared to arrest it. 
Luther was away from Wittemberg. Trouble and ruin had in 
vaded the city. The Reformation had seen an enemy arise in its 
bosom, more formidable than popes and emperors, and now stood 
on the brink of the precipice. 

" Luther! Luther!" was the universal cry at Wittemberg. The 
burghers urgently called for him, the professors longed for his 
counsels ; the prophets themselves appealed to him. All implored 
him to return. 1 

We can conceive what was passing in the mind of the Re 
former. All the severities of Rome were nothing in comparison of 
the distress which now afflicted his soul. The enemies of the Re 
formation were coming forth from her own bosom. She was tearing 
her own vitals ; and the doctrine, which alone gave peace to his agi 
tated heart, was becoming an occasion of fatal disaster to the Church. 

He had said, "If I knew that my doctrine was hurtful to man, 
to any one simple obscure man (this it cannot be, since it is the 
gospel itself) I would sooner die ten times than not retract it." a 

And now a whole town, and this town Wittemberg, was falling in 
to error. The doctrine was no way to blame ; but from all quarters 
of Germany voices were raised to accuse him. Sorrows keener than 
any he had ever felt now assailed, and new temptations agitated 
him. " Can this, then," he asked himself, " be the end to which 
the work of the Reformation was to lead ?" But he repels these 
doubts. God began, and God will accomplish. " I creep and keep 
dragging on towards the grace of the Eternal," exclaims he, "and 
entreat that His name may remain attached to this work, that if 
any thing impure has mingled with it, He would remember that I 
am but a sinful man." 3 

The account sent to Luther of the inspiration of the new pro 
phets and their sublime converse with God did not shake him for 

1 Lutherum revocavimus ex lieremo sno magnis de causis. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 565.) 
For strong reasons we recalled Luther from his hermitage. 2 Mbchte ich ehe 

zelm Ti.deii k>vden. (Wieder Eraser, L. Op. xviii, p. 613.) 3 Ich krieche zu seiner 
G-uideu. (L. Op. xviii, p. 615.) 


one moment. He knew the depths, the agonies, and humilia 
tions of the spiritual life. At Erfurth and Wittemberg he had had 
experience of the power of God experience which did not allow 
him to believe so easily that God should appear to the creature, 
and hold converse with him. " Ask them," wrote he to Melanc- 
thon, " if they have experienced those spiritual tortures, those crea 
tions of God, those deaths and hells which accompany a true re 
generation. l And if they tell you only of enjoyment of what they 
call tranquil impressions of devotion and piety, believe them not, 
even should they pretend to have been earned to the third heaven. 
Christ, in order that he might arrive at his glory, behoved to pass 
through death ; so must the believer pass through the anguish of 
sin before he arrive at peace. Would you know the time, the place, 
the manner in which God speaks with men ? Listen : He has 
broken all my bones like a lion; I am rejected before his face, and 
my soul is humbled to the lowest hell. No ! the divine majesty (as 
they term it) does not speak to man so directly, that man can visibly 
behold it ; for no man, says He, can see me and live." 

But the conviction that the prophets were deluded only served to 
augment Luther s grief. Is it true, then, that the great doctrine of 
salvation by grace has so soon lost its attractions that men turn 
aside from it to attach themselves to fables ? He begins to expe 
rience that the work is not so easy as he had at first supposed. He 
stumbles over this first stone which the wanderings of the human 
mind have placed in his path. Distressed and in anguish, he is wil 
ling, at the cost of his life, to take it out of the way of his people, 
and determines on returning to Wittemberg. 

Many were the dangers which then threatened him. The enemies 
of the Keformation were confident of destroying it. George of Sax 
ony, whose wish was neither for Kome nor Wittemberg, had writ 
ten, 16th October, 1521, to Duke John the Elector s brother, ad 
vising him to join the ranks of the enemies of reform. " Some," 
said he, " deny the immortality of the soul. Others (and they are 
monks) drag the relics of St. Anthony with tinkling bells and swine, 
and cast them into the mire. 2 And all this comes of Luther s 
doctrine ! Entreat your brother the Elector either to punish the 
impious authors of these innovations, or publicly to declare what 
his ultimate intentions are. The whitening of our locks warns us 
that we are drawing near the last stage of life, and urge us to put 
an end to all these evils." 

After this, George departed to take his seat in the imperial go- 

1 Quaeras num expert! sint spirituales illas angustias et nativitates divinas, mortes 
infernosque. (L. Ep. ii, p. 215.) Ask whether they have experienced these spiritual 
straits and divine births, deaths, and hells. 2 Jffc gchweinen und Schellen .... 

in Roll) gfcworfen. (Weym. Ann. Seek, p. 482.) 


veniment established at Nuremberg, and immediately on his ar 
rival used every means he could to induce the adoption of severe 
measures. In fact, this body on the 21st January issued an edict, 
complaining bitterly that the priests said mass without being- 
clothed in the sacerdotal dress, consecrated the holy sacrament in 
German, dispensed it without receiving the necessary confessions, 
placed it in the hands of laics, and did not even trouble themselves 
to inquire whether or not those who came forward to take it had 
broken their fast. 1 

The imperial government accordingly called upon the bishops 
to search out and rigorously punish all the innovators who might 
be found within their respective dioceses. The bishops hastened 
to comply with these orders. 

Such was the moment which Luther chose to re- appear upon the 
scene. He saw the danger ; he foresaw immense disasters. " In 
the empire," said he, " there will soon be a tumult, which will 
drag, pell mell, princes, magistrates, and bishops. The people have 
eyes : they neither will nor can be led by force. Germany will swim 
in blood. 2 Let us place ourselves in the breach, and save our 
country in this great and terrible day of the Lord." 


Departure from the Wartburg New Position Luther and Primitive Catholicism 
Meeting at the Black Bear Luther to the ElectorReturn to WittembergDis- 
courses at Wittemberg Charity the Word How the Reformation was effected 
Faith in Christ Effect DidymusCarlstadt The Prophets Conference with 
Luther End of the Struggle. 

Such was Luther s thought, but he saw a still more pressing 
danger. At Wittemberg the fire, far from being extinguished, 
was becoming more violent from day to day. From the heights of 
the Wartburg, Luther could discover in the horizon the signs of 
devastation frightful blazes darting up suddenly into the air. Is 
not he the only one who can bring assistance in this extremity? 
Will he not throw himself into the midst of the flames, to extinguish 
the conflagration? In vain do his enemies prepare to strike the last 
blow ; in vain does the Elector implore him to continue in the Wart 
burg, and prepare his defence for the next Diet. He has something 
more important to do, he has to defend the gospel itself. " More 

1 In ihre laYsche Hande reiche. (L, Op. xviii, p. 285.) 2 (Jermaniam in san 

guine natare. (L. Ep. ii, p. 157.) 


seilous news reach me from day to day," writes lie. "I am pre 
paring to depart ; circumstances demand it." * 

In fact, on the morning of the 3rd of March he rises with the 
determination to quit the Wartburg for ever. He bids adieu to 
its old towers and gloomy forests, crosses the walls where the 
excommunication of Leo X and the sword of Charles V were un 
able to reach him, and descends the mountain. The world which 
extends at his feet, and in which he is going to re-appear, will per 
haps raise a death-cry against him. But no matter : he advances 
joyfully, for it is in the name of the Lord that he is rejoining the 
society of his fellow-men. 2 

Time had moved onward. Luther came out of the Wartburg for 
a different cause from that for which he had entered it. He had en 
tered as the assailant of ancient tradition and ancient doctors ; he 
left it as a defender of the doctrine of the apostles against new ad 
versaries. He had entered as an innovator and assailant of the an 
cient hierarchy : he came out as its preserver, and for the defence 
of the Christian faith. Till now, Luther had only one aim in his 
work, viz., the triumph of justification by faith ; with this wea- 
^on, he had struck down powerful superstitions. But if there had 
been a time to pull down, there behoved also to be a time to build 
up. Behind those ruins with which his arm had strewed the 
ground behind those tattered letters of indulgences those bro 
ken tiaras and torn cowls behind all the abuses and errors of 
Rome, which lay in confused heaps on the field of battle, he dis 
cerned and exhibited the primitive Catholic Church, re-appearing 
always the same, and coming forth, after a long trial, with its im 
mutable doctrines and heavenly accents. He knew how to dis 
tinguish between it and Rome : he hailed it and embraced it with 
joy. Luther did not, as he has been falsely accused, bring a novelty 
into the world. He did not build up an edifice for the future that 
had no connection with the past. He discovered and brought to 
light the old foundation, overgrown with thorns and brambles, 
and merely continuing the structure of the temple, built on the 
foundation which the apostles had laid. Luther understood that 
the ancient and primitive Church of the apostles required on the 
one hand to be re -built in opposition to the papacy, which had. so 
long oppressed it, and on the other, to be defended against enthusi 
asts and unbelievers, who pretended not to see it, and who, making 
no account of all that God had done in times past, wished to be 
gin a work entirely new. Luther was no longer exclusively the 
apostle of a single doctrine, that of justification, though he always 

1 Ita enim res postulat ipsa. (L. Ep. ii, p. 135.) 2 So machte er sich mit un- 

glaublichor Freudigkeit des Geistes, im Namen Gottes auf den Weg. (Seek. p. 458.) 


reserved the first place for it; he became the apostle of the whole 
Christian system, and while believing that the Church consists 
essentially of the whole body of the saints, he by no means despised 
the visible Church, but recognised the assembly of all who are, call 
ed, as the kingdom of God. Thus a great change now took place in 
Luther s soul, in his theology, and in the work of renovation which 
God was accomplishing in the world. The hierarchy of Rome might 
perhaps have urged the Eeformer into an extreme : the sects 
which then raised their heads so boldly helped to bring him to the 
proper medium. His residence in the Wartburg divides the history 
of the Reformation into two periods. 

Luther was trotting along the road to Wittemberg on the second 
day of his journey, which was Shrove Tuesday. Towards even 
ing a dreadful storm arose and inundated the roads. Two young 
Swiss, who were pfoceeding in the same direction, hastened on in 
order to take shelter in the town of Jena. They had studied at 
Bale, but were on their way to Wittemberg, attracted by the great 
celebrity of its University. Travelling on foot, fatigued, and 
drenched, John Kessler of St. Gall, and his companion, quickened 
their pace. The town was in the full gayety of the carnival : 
dances, masquerades, and noisy feasts occupied all the inhabitants 
of Jena, and when the two travellers arrived, every inn was oc 
cupied. At last the Black Bear, in front of the town gate, was 
mentioned to them. Jaded and out of spirits, they sadly repaired 
to it. The host received them kindly, 1 and they sat down near 
the door opening into the public room, without presuming to en 
ter, being ashamed of the state into which the storm had put 
them. At one of the tables sat a solitary individual in the dress 
of a knight ; his head was covered with a red cap, and his underdress 
was covered by the skirts of his doublet ; his right hand rested on 
the pommel of his sword, while his left held it by the hilt. A 
book was open before him, and he seemed to be reading with great 
attention. 2 At the noise made by the two youths, he raised his 
head, saluted them courteously, and invited them to come forward 
and take a seat at table with him ; then offering them a glass of 
beer, and referring to their accent, he said to them, " You are 
Swiss, I see, but of what Canton?" "St. Gall." "If you are go 
ing to Wittemberg you will find a countryman there, Dr. Schurff." 
Encouraged by this kind reception, they asked, " Sir, are you not 
able to tell us where Martin Luther now is ? " "I know for certain," 
replied the knight, " that Luther is not at Wittemberg, but is 

1 See Kessler s narrative with all its details, in the simple language of the period 
in Bernet, Johann Kessler, p. 27. Hanhard Erzahlungen, iii, p. 300, and Marhein- 
ck#. Gesch. der Ref. ii, p. 321, 2nd edition. In einem rothen Schlbpli,in blossec 
Hoen and Wammt. . . . (Ibid.) 


to be soon. Philip Melancthon is there. Study Greek and 
Hebrew, that you may have a good understanding of the Holy 
Scriptures." " If God spares our lives," replied one of the youths 
of St. Gall, " we shall not return home till we have seen and heard 
doctor Luther, for it is on account of him we have undertaken 
this long journey. We know that he wishes to overthrow the priest 
hood and the mass, and as our parents have, from our infancy, in 
tended us for priests, we would fain know on what~he bottoms his 
enterprise." The knight was silent for a moment, and then said, 
" where have you studied hitherto ? " " At Bale." " Is Erasmus of 
Rotterdam still there ? what is he about ? " They answered these 
questions, and there was a new pause. The two Swiss knew not 
what to think. " Is it not a strange thing," said they, " that this 
knight talks to us of Schurff, Melancthon, and Erasmus, and of 
the necessity of studying Greek and Hebrew." "Dear friends," said 
the stranger abruptly, "what is thought of Luther in Switzer 
land?" "Sir," replied Kessler, "opinions differ, as every where 
else ; some cannot extol him sufficiently ; others condemn him 
as an abominable heretic." " Ah, the priests, no doubt," said the 

The knight s affability had put the two students at their ease. 
They longed eagerly to know what book he was reading at the 
moment of their arrival. The knight had closed it and laid it 
down near him. Kessler s companion was at length emboldened to 
take it up. What was the astonishment of the two youths ! The 
Psalms in Hebrew. The student immediately laid down the book, 
and wishing to make his indiscretion be forgotten, said, " I 
would willingly give one of my fingers to know this language." 
" This you will certainly do," replied the stranger, " if you take 
the trouble to learn it." 

Some moments after Kessler heard himself called by the host. 
The poor young Swiss feared something was wrong, but the host 
whispered to him, " I perceive you have a great desire to see and 
hear Luther; very well, he is sitting beside you." Kessler taking 
it for a joke said, " Ah, host, you want to hoax me." " It is he, cer 
tainly," replied the host, " only don t let it be seen that you know 
who he is." Kessler gave no answer, and returned to the table, 
burning with eagerness to repeat what he had heard to his com 
panion. But how was he to do it ? At last it occurred to him 
to lean forward as if he were looking to the door, when, being 
close to his friend s ear, he whispered to him, " the host assures me 
that this is Luther." "He perhaps said Hiitten," replied his 
companion, " you may have misunderstood him." " It is quite pos 
sible," replied Kessler, " the host may have said Hiitten : the two 
sounds are not unlike, I may have mistaken the one for the other." 


At this moment the trampling of horses was heard in front of the 
hotel; and two merchants, who wished to pass the night there, en 
tered the room. After taking off their spurs, and laying aside their 
cloaks, one of them put down on the table beside him an unbound 
volume, which immediately caught the eye of the knight. " What 
book is that?" said he. "An exposition of some gospels and epis 
tles by Dr. Luther," replied the merchant : " it has just appeared." 
" I shall soon have it," replied the knight. 

The host at this moment announced supper. The two students, 
fearing the expence of a repast in company with the chevalier, 
Ulric Von Hlitten and the rich merchants, took the host aside, and 
begged him to give them something by themselves. "Stay, my 
friends," replied the host of the Black Bear, " take your seat at 
table beside this gentleman ; I will charge moderately." " Come," 
said the knight, "I will settle the charge." 

During the repast the stranger knight made many simple and 
edifying observations. The merchants and students were riveted, 
and paid more attention to his conversation than to the dishes that 
were served up. " Luther must either be an angel from heayen 
or a devil of hell," said one of the merchants in the course of the 
conversation, and then added, " I would willingly give ten florins 
to meet Luther and be able to confess to him." 

When the supper was ended the merchants rose up, and the two 
Swiss remained alone with the knight, who, taking a large glass of 
beer, lifted it and said gravely, according to the custom of the 
country, " Swiss, one glass more for thanks." As Kessler was 
going to take the glass, the stranger put it down and presented him 
with one filled with wine : " You are not accustomed to beer," 
said he. 

He then rose up, threw a military cloak on his shoulders, shook 
hands with the students, and said to them, " When you arrive at 
Wittemberg, give my compliments to Doctor Jerome Schurff." 
"Willingly," replied they; "but from whom shall we say?" 
" Say simply," replied he, " He who is coming salutes you." On 
this he walked out, leaving them in admiration at his courtesy 
and meekness. 

Luther, for it was indeed he, continued his journey. Be it re 
membered he had been put under the ban of the empire; whosoever 
met him and recognised him might lay hands upon him. But at 
the moment when he was executing an enterprise which exposed 
him to every risk, he discoursed gaily with those whom he met 
on his way. 

It was not because he was under any illusion. He saw the 
future big with storms. " Satan," said he, " is transported with 


rage, and all around me meditate death and hell. 1 I advance, 
nevertheless, and throw myself in the way of the emperor and the 
pope, having none to defend me save God in heaven. On the part 
of man power has been given to every one to slayme wheresoever I 
am found. But Christ is the Lord of all : if it is his will that I 
be slain, so be iU" 

The same day, being Ash Wednesday, Luther arrived at Borne, 
-a small town near Leipsic. Feeling that he ought to give notice 
to his prince of the bold step which he was going to take, he wrote 
him the following letter from the Conductor Tavern where he had 

" Grace and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus 

"Most serene Elector! gracious lord! what has happened at 
Wittemberg to the great shame of the gospel has filled me with 
such grief that if I were not certain of the truth of our cause I 
would have despaired of it, 

" Your Highness knows, or if not, please to be informed, I 
received the gospel not from men but from heaven, by our Lord 
Jesus Christ. If I have asked for conferences, it was not because 
I had doubts of the truth, but from humility, and for the pur 
pose of winning others. But since my humility is turned against 
the gospel, my conscience now impels me to act in a different man 
ner. I have yielded enough to your highness in exiling myself 
during this year. The devil knows it was not from fear I did it. 
I would have entered Worms though there had been as many 
devils in the town as there were tiles on the roofs. Now Duke 
George with whom your Highness tries so much to frighten me, is 
far less to be feared than a single devil. Had that which has taken 
place at Wittemberg taken place at Leipsic (the duke s residence), I 
would instantly have mounted my horse and gone thither, even 
though (let your Highness pardon the expression,) for nine days it 
should have done nothing but rain Duke Georges, and every one of 
them been nine times more furious than he is. What is he thinking 
of in attacking me ? Does he take Christ, my Lord, for a man of 
straw ? 2 The Lord be pleased to avert the dreadful judgment 
which is impending over him I 

" It is necessary for your Highness to know that I am on my way 
to Wittemberg under a more powerful protection than that of an 
elector. I have no thought of soliciting the assistance of your 
Highness : so far from desiring your protection, I would rather give 

1 Furit Satanas ; et fremunt vicini undique, neseio quot mortibus et infernis. (L. 
Kp. H, p. 153.) Satan rages, and the neighbours mutter on every ride, with I know not 
how many deaths and lielK a Er Halt meinen Herrn Christum ftir ein Mann 

aus Stroh geflochten. (Ibid. p. 139.) 


you mine. If I knew that your Highness could or would protect 
me, I would not come to Wittemberg. No sword can give any 
aid to this cause. God alone must do all without human aid or 
co-operation. He who has most faith is the best protector. Now 
I observe that your Highness is still very weak in. the faith. 

"But since your Highness desires to know what to do, I will 
answer with all humility. Your electoral Highness has already 
done too much, and ought to do nothing at all. God does not wish 
and cannot tolerate either your cares and labours, or mine. Let 
your Highness, therefore, act accordingly. 

u In regard to what concerns myself, your Highness must act as 
elector. You must allow the orders of his imperial Majesty to be 
executed in your towns and rural districts. You must not throw 
any difficulty in the way, should it be wished to apprehend or slay 
me i 1 for none must; oppose the powers that be save He who estab 
lished them. 

" Let your Highness then leave the gates open, and respect safe- 
conducts, should my enemies themselves, or their envoys, enter the 
states of your Highness in search of me. In this way you will avoid 
all embarrassment and danger. 

" I have written this letter in haste that you may not be dis 
concerted on learning my arrival. He with whom I have to 
deal is a different person from Duke George. He knows me well, 
and I know something of him. 

" Borne, the Conductor Hotel, Ash Wednesday, 1522. 

u Your Electoral Highnesses most humble Servant, 


Thus Luther was drawing year to Wittemberg. He wrote to 
the prince, but not to apologise. Immovable confidence filled hi& 
heart. He saw the hand of God in the cause, and this sufficed 
him. Never, perhaps, was the heroism of faith more conspicuously 
displayed. One of the editions of Luther s works has on the margin 
these words, "This is a marvellous production of the third and last 
Elias." 1 

On Friday, the 7th March, Luther again entered Wittemberg,, 
having been five days in coming from Eisenach. Professors,, 
students, citizens, all gave full utterance to their joy. They had 
recovered the pilot who alone could bring on the ship from the shal 
lows on which it had been cast. 

The elector, who was with his court at Lockau, was much affect 
ed on reading Luther s letter. He felt desirous to defend him 
before the Diet, and wrote to Schurff, " Let him send me a letter 
explaining his motives for returning to Wittemberg, and let him say 

* (Jnd ja niclit weliren .... so sie mich fahen oder tod ten will. (L. Ep. ii, p. 140.) 
Dei- vvahrp. dritte und letzte Elias . . . . (L. Op. (L.) xviii, p. 271.) 


also in it that he returned without my permission." Luther agreed 
to do so. 

u I am ready," wrote he to the prince, u to endure the displea 
sure of your Highness and the anger of the whole world. Are not 
the inhabitants of Wittemberg my brood ? Has not God entrust 
ed them to me ? And am not I bound to expose myself to death 
for them ? I fear, moreover, the breaking out in Germany of some 
great revolution by which God will punish our country. Let your 
Highness be well assured that the decision in heaven has been very 
different from that at Nuremberg." 1 This letter was written the 
very day of Luther s arrival. 

The next day being the eve of the first Sunday of Lent, Luther 
repaired to the house of Jerome Schurff, where Melancthon, Jonas, 
Amsdorff, and Augustin Schurff were met. Luther eagerly asked 
them many questions, and they were informing him of all that had 
taken place, when it was announced that two foreign students 
wished to speak to Doctor Jerome. On appearing in the midst of 
this meeting of doctors, the two youths of St. Gall were at first 
abashed, but they soon recovered on perceiving among them the 
knight of the Black Bear, who immediately went up to them, ac 
costed them as old acquaintances, smiled to them, and pointing 
with his finger to one of the doctors, said, " That is Philip Melanc 
thon of whom I spoke to you." In honour of the meeting at Jena, 
the two Swiss spent the whole day with the doctors of Wittemberg. 

One great thought occupied the Reformer, and made him forget 
the joy he felt at being again in the midst of his friends. No doubt 
the theatre on which he now appeared was obscure : it was in a 
small town of Saxony that he was going to raise his voice, and 
yet his undertaking had all the importance of an event which was 
to influence the destinies of the world. Many nations and many 
ages were to feel its effects. The point to be determined was, whe 
ther this doctrine which he had drawn from the word of God, and 
which was destined to exert so powerful an influence on the future 
progress of humanity, would be stronger than the principles of 
destruction which threatened its existence whether it was possible 
to reform without destroying, and to pave the way for further pro 
gress, without destroying that already made. To silence fanatics 
in the first heat of enthusiasm, to master a whole multitude broken 
loose, to calm them down, and bring them back to order, peace, 
and truth ; to break the force of this impetuous torrent which was 
threatening to throw down the rising edifice of the Reformation, 
and scatter its wrecks around ; such was the work for which 

1 L. Ep. ii, p. 143. Lirher had to change this passage in his letter at the request 
oi the Elector. , 


Luther had returned to Wittemberg. But would his influence be 
sufficient ? This events only could determine. 

The soul of the Reformer shuddered at the thought of the com 
bat which awaited him. He stood up like a lion goaded on to 
battle, and shaking his bushy mane, " Now is the time," said he, 
u to trample Satan under foot, and combat the angel of darkness. 
If our adversaries retire not of their own accord, Christ will con 
strain them. We are the masters of life and death, we who be 
lieve in the Master of life and death." 1 

But at the same time, the impetuous Reformer, as if subdued by 
a higher power, refused to make use of the anathemas and thun 
ders of the Word, and became a humble pastor, a meek shepherd of 
souls. "It is by the Word," said he, " that we must fight, by 
the Word overturn and destroy what has been established by vio 
lence. I am unwilling to employ force against the superstitious or 
the unbelieving. Let him who believes approach ; let him who 
believes not stand aloof. None ought to be constrained. Liberty 
is of the essence of faith." 2 

The next day was Sabbath, and on that day, in the Church, in the 
pulpit, the people were again to behold the teacher whom for nearly 
a year the Wartburg had concealed from every eye. The news 
spread in Wittemberg Luther is returned Luther is going to 
preach. These news passing from mouth to mouth were in them 
selves a powerful diversion to the notions by which the people 
flad been led astray. The hero of Worms is going again to appear. 
Crowds press forward from all directions, and on Sabbath morn 
ing the church was filled with an attentive and excited audience. 

Luther divines the feeling of his hearers : he mounts the pulpit, 
and there stands in presence of the flock whom he was wont to lead 
like one gentle sheep, but who had now broken loose and assum 
ed the appearance of an untamed bull. His discourse is simple, yet 
dignified, replete at once with force and mildness. He might have 
been described as a tender parent just returned to his children, en 
quiring how they have behaved, and telling them kindly of what 
he had heard respecting them. He candidly acknowledges the 
progress which they had made in the faith. Having thus prepared 
and gained their minds, he continues in the following terms : 

"But there must be more than faith: there must be charity. 
When a man with a sword in his hand is by himself, it is of no 
consequence whether or not he keeps it in the scabbard, but if he 
is in the midst of a crowd, he must act in such a. manner as not 
to hurt any one. 

1 Domini enim sunius vitae et mortis. (L. Ep. ii, p. 150.; 3 Xon eiupi ad 

fidem et ad ea qu* fidei snn|, ullus cogtndus est. (Ibid., p. 151.) For m> man u.u 
be driven by compulsion to faith and the things thereto appertaining:. 


"How does a mother do with her child? At first she gives it 
milk, and thereafter the most easily digested food. Were she to 
begin by giving it flesh and wine, what would the result be? ... 

" So ought we to do with our brethren. Have you had enough 
of the breast, my friend ? very well ; allow your brother to have 
it as long as you have had it yourself. 

" Behold the sun. . . . There are two things he gives us light 
and heat. There is no king so powerful as to be able to interrupt 
Li* rays : they come to us in a straight line ; but the heat radiates 
and transfuses itself in all directions. Thus faith ought to be like 
light, straight and inflexible; but charity should, like heat, radiate 
in all directions, and bend to meet all the wants of our brethren." 

Luther having thus prepared his hearers, comes to still closer 

u The abolition of the mass, you say, is conformable to Scrip 
ture. Agreed. But what order, what decorum have you observed ? 
You ought to have presented fervent prayers to the Lord : you 
ought to have applied to constituted authority, which, in that case, 
might have been able to perceive that the work was of God. . ." 

Thus spake Luther. The bold man who had at Worms with 
stood the princes of the earth, produced a powerful impression by 
these words of wisdom and peace. Carlstadt and the prophets of 
Zwickau, who for some weeks had been so high and mighty, and 
who had agitated and lorded it over Wittemberg, became dwarfs 
when placed beside the prisoner of the Wartburg. 

" The mass," he continues, " is a bad thing : God is inimical to 
it : it must be abolished, and I could wish that over the whole world 
it were supplanted by the supper of the Gospel. But let nobody be 
driven from it by violence. The affair must be committed to 
God. His Word must act, not we. And why ? you will say. 
Because I do not hold the hearts of men in my hand as the potter 
does the clay. We have a right to speak, but not to act. Let us 
preach the rest belongs to God. If I employ force, what shall I 
obtain ? Grimace, appearances, apishness, human ordinances, 
hypocrisy .... But there will be no sincerity of heart, no faith, 
no charity. Any work in which these three things are wanting 
wants every thing, and I would not give a pin for it. 1 

" The first thing to be gained from people is their heart, and for 
this it is necessary to preach the gospel. Then the Word will 
descend on one heart to-day, and on another to-morrow, and ope 
rate in such a way that each will withdraw from the mass, and 
abandon it. God does more by his mere Word than you and I, and 

1 Ich wollte nicht einen Birnstiel dr:mf geben. (1.. Op. L. xviii, p. 255.) 


all the world could do by uniting our utmost strength. God takes 
possession of the heart, and when the heart is taken every thing is 

" I do not say this in order to re-establish the mass. Since it is 
down, let it, in God s name, so remain. But was the matter gone 
about as it ought to have been ? Paul, having one day arrived at 
Athens, a great city, found altars erected to false gods. He went 
from one to another, viewed them all, and touched none. But he 
quietly repaired to the market-place, and declared to the people 
that all their Gods were only idols. His words took possession of 
their hearts, and the idols fell without being touched by Paul. 

" I wish to speak, to preach, to write, but I wish not to constrain 
any one, for faith is a voluntary matter. See what I have done ! 
I have withstood the pope, indulgences, and the papists, but with 
out tumult and violence. I have put forward the Word of God 
have preached have written, but this is all I have done. And 
while I was asleep, or seated in a friendly way at table with 
Amsdorif and Melancthon, conversing with them over a pot of 
Wittemberg beer, the Word which I had preached overthrew 
the papacy, assailing it more effectually than was ever done 
by prince or emperor, i have done nothing : the Word alone has 
done all. Had I chosen to appeal to force, perhaps Germany might 
have been bathed in blood. But what would have been the con 
sequence ? Kuin and desolation to soul and body. I therefore re 
mained quiet, and allowed the Word itself to have free course in 
the world. Do you know what the Devil thinks when he sees re 
course had to force in order to spread the gospel among men ? 
Seated, with his arms across, behind the flames of hell, Satan, with 
malignant leer, and frightful smile, says Ah, how sagely these 
fools are playing my game. But Avhen he sees the Word running 
and wrestling alone on the field of battle, then it is he feels uneasy, 
and his knees tremble : he mutters, and swoons with terror." 

Luther again appeared in the pulpit on Tuesday : his power 
ful eloquence again resounded in the midst of a deeply impressed 
audience. He preached successively on Wednesday, Thursday, 
Friday, Saturday, and Sabbath. He passed in review the destruc 
tion of images, the distinction of meats, the observances at the 
supper, the restoration of the cup, and the abolition of confession. 
He showed that those points were still more indifferent than the 
mass, and that the authors of the disorders, which had taken place 
at Wittemberg, had grossly abused their liberty. He gave utterance 
alternately to accents of Christian charity and to bursts of holy, 

In particular, he inveighed forcibly against those who com- 


municated thoughtlessly at the Lord s Supper. " What makes 
the Christian," said he, u is not the external eating, but the in 
ternal and spiritual eating which is produced by faith, and with 
out which, all forms whatsoever are only show and vain grimace. 
Now this faith consists in firmly believing that Jesus Christ is 
the Son of God; that being ladened with our sins and iniquities, 
and having borne them upon the cross, he is himself the sole, the all- 
}K)wcrful expiation : that he is now continually in the presence of 
God, that he reconciles us with the Father, and has given us the 
sacrament of his body in order to confirm our faith in this ineffable 
mercy. If I believe these things, God is my defender : with him 
I defy sin, death, hell, devils they cannot do me any harm, nor 
even ruffle a hair of my head. This spiritual bread is the consola 
tion of the afflicted, the cure of the sick, the life of the dying, the 
food of the hungry, and the treasure of the poor. He, then, who 
is not sorry for his sins, ought not to come to this altar : what 
would he do there ? Ah ! let our conscience accuse us, let our 
hearts be torn at the thought of our faults, and we will not ap- 
j>roach the holy sacrament with so much rashness." 

Crowds ceased not to fill the temple : numbers even flocked 
from the neighbouring towns to hear tb e E e w Elias. Capito, among 
others, came and spent two days at Wittemberg, and heard two of 
the doctor s sermons. Never had Luther and the chaplain of cardinal 
Albert been so much of one mind. Melancthon, the magistrates, 
the professors, and all the people ,were overjoyed. 1 Schurff, delighted 
at this issue of an affair which promised to be so serious, hastened 
to acquaint the Elector, to whom lie wrote, Friday, 15th March, 
(the day on which Luther had delivered his sixth discourse.) 
i4 What joy the return of doctor Martin diffuses among us ! His 
discourses, by the help of divine grace, are daily bringing back 
OUT poor erring souls into the way of truth. It is clear as the sun 
that the Spirit of God is in him, and that by his special appoint 
ment he has returned to Wittemberg." 2 

In fact these discourses are models of popular eloquence, though 
notof the sort which aroused men s minds in the days of Demosthenes 
-or even Savonarola. The task which the orator of Wittemberg 
had to perform was more difficult. It is easier to rouse a wild 
beast than to calm its fury. The thing required was to appease 
a fanatical multitude ; to tame passions which had been let loose : 
nnd tills Luther did. In his eight discourses the Reformer did 
not allow a single painful allusion to escape, a single word calcu 
lated to offend the authors of the disturbances. But the more 

1 Grosse Freude uml Frolilocken nnter Gelehrten und Ungelehrten. (L. Op. xviii, 
l>. HIK.) 2 A us SMuulerticher Schickuag defj Alimachtigeti . ^ . . .(Ibid.) 


moderate, the stronger he was ; the greater the delicacy towards 
those who had gone astray, the more he avenged insulted truth - 
How could the people of Wittemberg resist his powerful eloquence ? 
The discourses which recommend moderation are usually attribu 
ted to moderation, policy, or fear. Here there was nothing of the 
kind. Luther appeared before the people of Wittemberg braving 
the excommunication of the pope, and the proscription of the 
emperor. He returned, though forbidden by the Elector, who de 
clared his inability to defend him. Even at Worms, Luther had 
not shown more courage. He was confronting the most threatening 
dangers, and accordingly his voice was not disregarded. This man 
who braved the scaffold was entitled to exhort others to submis 
sion. He may boldly preach obedience to God, who, in doing 
so, exposes himself to every kind of persecution from man. At 
Luther s preaching, objections vanished, tumult was appeased r 
sedition ceased its clamour, and the citizens of Wittemberg re 
turned to their quiet homes. 

Gabriel Didyinus, an Augusfcin monk, and the one who- had 
been most enthusiastic, had not lost a word spoken by the Reformer- 
u Dont you think Luther an admirable teacher?" asked a hearer,, 
under deep emotion. "Ah!" replied Gabriel, u methinks I hear 
the voice not of a man, but an angel." 1 Shortly after, he openly 
acknowledged his error. " He is beeome another man,." said 
Luther. 2 

The same effect was not at first produced on Caiistadt. De 
spising study, and affectedly visiting the workshops of mechanics r 
that he might there get a knowledge of the Scriptures, he felt hurt r 
when he saw his work crumbling to pieces before the appearance 
of Luther. 5 In his eyes this was equivalent to an arrest laid on- 
the Reformation itself. Accordingly he had always a depressed r 
gloomy, and discontented look. He, however, sacrificed his self- 
love to peace, suppressed his vindictive feelings, was reconciled, 
apparently at least, with his colleague, and shortly after resumed 
his course at the University. 4 

The principal prophets happened not to be at W r ittemberg when- 
Luther arrived. Nicholas Storck had been scouring the country, 
and Mark Stubner had quitted the hospitable roof of Melancthou. 
It may be their prophetical spirit had vanished and they had 
neither "voice" nor "answer" 5 from the moment they learned 
that this new Elias was bending his steps towards this new 

1 Imo, inquit, angelf, non hommis vocem mihi audisse videor. (Camerarius, p. 1) 

2 la alium viruin mutatus est. (L. Ep..ii,.p. 156.). 3 Ego Carlstadium offend), 
quod ordinationes suas cessavL (L. Ep, ii p. 177.) I oft ended Carlstadt, because 1 
put a stop to his arrangements. * Philippi et Cavlstadii lectiones, ut sunt op- 
timse . . . (Ibid. p. 284.) The lectures of Philip and Garlstadt, as they are most fei- 
eelleiit. 5 1 Kings, xviii,. 29_ 


Carmel. The old schoolmaster Cellarius had been left alone. 
Meanwhile, Stubner having been informed that the sheep of his 
flock were dispersed, returned in all haste. Those who had re 
mained faithful to the "heavenly prophecy" gathered round their 
master, relating Luther s discourses to him, and asking with un 
easiness what they were to think. 1 Stubner exhorted them to 
remain firm in their faith. " Let him show himself," exclaimed 
Cellarius, " let him grant us a conference, let him allow us to ex 
plain our doctrine, and we shall see ... ." 

Luther had little inclination to meet with these men; he knew 
that there was in them a violent, impatient, haughty spirit, which 
could not endure warnings, however charitably given, and who 
claimed submission to their every word as a sovereign authority. 2 
Such are the enthusiasts of all times. Still, as an interview was 
asked, the doctor could not refuse it. Besides, it might be use 
ful to the simple ones of the flock to unmask the imposture of the 
prophets. The conference took place. Stubner spoke first, and 
explained how he proposed to renew the Church and change the 
world. Luther listened with great calmness. 3 "Nothing that 
you have said," replied he, at length, gravely, " rests on the Holy 
Scriptures. It is all fable." At these words Cellarius loses all 
self-possession ; he raises his voice, gesticulates like a madman, 
stamps and strikes the table that was before him; 4 gets into a 
passion, and exclaims that it is an insult to presume to speak thus 
to a man of God. Then Luther resumes, " St. Paul declares that 
the proofs of his apostlcship were manifested by miracles : prove 
yours by miracles." " We shall," replied the prophets. 5 " The 
God whom I worship," replied Luther, " will keep a bridle hand 
on your gods." Stubner, who had remained more calm, fixing his 
eyes on the Reformer, said to him with an air of inspiration, 
u Martin Luther, I am going to declare to yon what is now passing 
in your soul. Yon are beginning to think that my doctrine is 
true." Luther, after a few moments silence, replied. "The 
Ixrd rebuke thee, Satan." At these words all the prophets are 
transported. "The Spirit! the Spirit!" they exclaim. Luther, 
with that cool disdain, and that cutting, yet familiar language, 
which was one of his characteristics, says, " I care not a fig for 
your spirit " 1 6 The clamour is redoubled. Cellarius was especially 

1 Rursum ad ipsum confluere . . . (Cainerar. p. 52.) Again flocked to him. 

2 Vehementer superbus et inipatiens . . . credi vult plena auctoritate, ad 
primam vocem . . . (L. Epp. ii, p. 179.) Excessively proud and impatient . . . 
he insists on bei?i^ believed implicitly on his first word. s Audivit Lutlierus 
placide. (Gamer, p. 52.) * Cum et solum pedibus et propositam mensulam 
manibus feriret. (Ibid.) Both struck the ground with his feet, and the little table 
before him with his hands. 6 Quid pollicentes de mirabilibus affectionibus. 
(Tbid. p. 5o.) Making some promise of miraculous affections. 6 Ihren Gei&t 
*iue er iiber die Schnauze. (L. Opp. Aheuburg Augs. iii, p. 137.) 


violent. He raged, roared, and foamed. 1 Not a word more could 
he heard. At length the prophets withdrew, and the same day 
quitted Wittemberg. 

Thus Luther had accomplished the work for which he had left 
his retreat. He had withstood fanaticism, and chased from the 
bosom of the renovated church the enthusiasm and disorder which 
were trying to invade it. Jf with one hand the Reformation over 
threw the musty decretals of Home, with the other it repelled the 
pretensions of the mystics, and secured the living and immutable 
Word of God in possession of the territory which it had conquered. 
The character of the Reformation was thus well established. It be 
hoved constantly to move between these two extremes, equally 
distant from the convulsive throes of fanatics and the lifeless state 
of the papacy. 

A population aroused, misled, and broken loose from all re 
straint, is appeased, becomes calm and submissive, and the most 
perfect tranquillity is restored to a city which, a few days before, 
was like a raging sea. 

Complete liberty was moreover established at Wittemberg. 
Luther continued to reside in the convent, and to wear the mon 
astic dress; but every one was free to do otherwise. Communicants, 
in taking the supper, might content themselves with a general, or 
ask a particular absolution. One established principle was to 
reject nothing but what was opposed to a clear and formal declara 
tion of the Holy Scriptures. 2 This was not indifference. On the 
contrary, religion was thus brought back to what constitutes its 
essence. Religious sentiment was drawn away from accessory forms 
when it had been well nigh lost, and again placed on its true basis. 
Thus the Reformation was saved, and doctrine could continue 
to be developed in the Church in accordance with charity and 


Translation of the New Testament Faith and Scripture Opposition Importance 
of Luther s Publication Need of a Systematic Exposition Ifelancthon a Common 
Places Original Sin Salvation Free-will Effect of the Common places. 

No sooner was the calm re-established than the Reformer 
turned towards his dear Melancthon, and asks his assistance in 
putting the finishing hand to the version of the New Testament, 

1 Spumabat et fremebat et furebat. (L. Epp. ii, p. 179.) ~ Ganz klarc un I 

griiadliche SchriJ t. 



which he had brought from the Wartburg. 1 Melancthou, as early 
as 1519, had laid down the grand principle, that the fathers ought 
to be explained according to Scripture, and not Scripture accord 
ing to the fathers. Continuing thoroughly to investigate the 
writings of the New Testament, he felt at once enraptured with 
their simplicity, and struck with their profundity. " Here only," 
was the open declaration of one so familiar with all the philosophers 
of antiquity "Here only is found the true food^of the soul." 
Hence he gladly responded to Luther s invitation, and thereafter 
the two friends spent many long hours together, in studying and 
translating the inspired Word. Often did they interrupt then- 
laborious researches to give vent to their admiration. u Reason 
thinks," said Luther, " Oh, if I could only once hear God; to hear 
Him I would run to the end of the world .... Listen, then, 
O man, my brother! .... God, the creator of heaven and 
earth is speaking to you. . . ." 

The printing of the New Testament was begun and earned on 
with unexampled zeal. 2 It seemed as if the workmen themselves 
felt the importance of the work which they were preparing. Three 
presses were employed, and ten thousand sheets were printed daily. 3 

At length, on the 21st September, appeared the complete edition 
of three thousand copies, in two volumes, folio, with this simple 
title: The New Testament German Wittemberg. It bore no 
human name. Every German could thenceforth procure the Word 
of God for a moderate sum. 4 

The new translation, written in the very spirit of the sacred 
books, in a language still recent, and displaying its many beauties 
for the first time, seized, enraptured, and deeply impressed the 
humblest of the people, as well as the most elevated classes. It 
was a national work ; it was the people s book : it was more, it was 
truly the book of God. Even enemies could not withhold their 
approbation of this admirable work, while some indiscreet friends of 
the Reformation, struck with the beauty of the work, imagined that 
they beheld in it a second inspiration. This translation did more 
to propagate Christian piety than all the other writings of Luther. 
The work of the sixteenth century was thus placed on a basis 
which could not be shaken. The Bible given to the people brought 
back the human mind which for ages had been wandering in the 
tortuous labyrinth of scholastics, to the divine source of salvation. 
Accordingly the success of the work was prodigious. In a short 

1 Verum omnia nunc elimare coepinms Philippus et ego. (L. Ep. ii, 17C.) I5nt 
Philip ami I now began to revise the whole. a Ingenti labor* ct studio. (Ibid., 

p. W<>.) With immense labour and study. a Singulis diebus decies milli-i 

chartarutn sub tribus prclis. (Ibid.) * A florin aud a half, about half-a- 

t:nm u sterling. 


time all the copies were disposed of. A second edition appeared in 
December, and, in 1533, seventeen editions of Luther s New Tes 
tament had been printed at Wittemberg ; thirteen at Augsburg ; 
twelve at Bale ; one at Erfurth ; one at Grimma ; one at Leipsic ; 
thirteen at Strasburg. 1 .... Such were the mighty engines which 
lifted and transformed the Church and the world. 

The first edition of the New Testament was still at press when 
Luther engaged in the translation of the Old Testament. This 
work, begun in 1522, was prosecuted without interruption. It was 
published in parts as it was finished, in order more rapidly to 
satisfy the impatience which was manifested in all quarters, and 
make it more easy for the poor to purchase it. 

From Scripture and faith, two sources, which, in substance, are 
only one, evangelical life flowed, and is still diffused in the world. 
These two principles combated two fundamental errors; faith 
was opposed to the Pelagian tendency of Catholicism ; Scripture, 
to the tradition and authority of Rome. Scripture led to faith and 
faith led back to Scripture. "Man cannot do any meritorious 
work : the free grace of God, which he receives by faith in Christ 
alone saves him." Such was the doctrine proclaimed in Christen 
dom ; and the tendency of this doctrine was to urge Christians to 
the study of Scripture. In fact, if faith in Christ is every thing in 
Christianity if the practices and ordinances of the Church are 
nothing what we ought to adhere to is not the word of the Church 
but the word of Jesus Christ. The tie which unites to Christ will 
become all in all to the believer. What cares he for the external 
tie which unites him to an external Church enslaved to human 
opinions ? . . . . Thus, as the doctrine of the Bible had urged 
Luther s contemporaries towards Jesus Christ,- so the love which 
they had for Jesus Christ in its turn urged them towards the 
Bible. They returned to Scripture, not as is imagined in our 
day, from a philosophical principle, from a feeling of doubt or a 
longing for investigation, but because they found in it the word 
of Him whom they loved. " You have preached Christ to us," 
said they to the Reformer, "enable us now to hear his own voice." 
And they eagerly laid hold of the sheets which were delivered to 
them as they would a letter come from heaven. 

But if the Bible was thus joyfully received by those who loved 
Christ, it was repulsed with hatred by those who preferred the 
traditions and practices of men. Violent persecution awaited this 
work of the Reformer. On hearing of Luther s publication, Rome 
trembled. The pen which transcribed the sacred oracles was the 
realisation of that which the Elector Frederick had seen in his 

1 Gesch. d. deutsch. Jiibel Uebersetz. 


dream, and which, reaching as far as the seven hills, had caused the 
tiara of the papacy to totter. The monk in his cell and the prince 
on his throne sent forth a cry of rage. Ignorant priests shuddered 
at the thought that every citizen, every peasant even, would now 
be in a condition to debate with them on sacred subjects. The 
King of England denounced the work to the Elector Frederick, and 
Duke George of Saxony. But, previous to this, as early as No 
vember, the duke had enjoined all his subjects to deliver every 
copy of Luther s New Testament into the hands of the magistrates. 
Bavaria, Brandenburg, Austria, all the states devoted to Home, 
issued similar decrees. In some towns a sacrilegious pile was 
erected, and the books were burnt in the market-place. 1 Thus, in 
the sixteenth century, Rome renewed the attempts by which 
Paganism had tried to destroy the religion of Jesus Christ at the 
moment when the empire was escaping from priests and their idols. 
But who can arrest the triumphant progress of the gospel? "Even 
since my prohibition," wrote Duke George, "several thousand 
copies have been sold and read in my States." 

God, in diffusing his Word, made use of the very hands which 
were endeavouring to destroy it. The Catholic theologians, seeing 
it impossible to suppress the Reformer s work, published the New 
Testament in a translation of their own. It was Luther s transla 
tion, with occasional corrections by the editors. No objection was 
made to the reading of it. Rome knew not as yet that, wherever 
the Word of God is established, her power is in danger. Joachim 
of Brandenburg gave full permission to his subjects to read any 
translation of the Bible, Latin or German, provided it came not 
from Wittemberg. The inhabitants of Germany, those of Branden 
burg in particular, thus made a rapid advance in the knowledge of 
the truth. 

The publication of the New Testament constitutes an important 
epoch in the Reformation. If the marriage of Feldkirchen was the 
first step in passing from doctrine to practice, if the abolition of 
monastic vows was the second, if the establishment of the Lord s 
Supper was the third, the publication of the New Testament was 
perhaps the most important of all. It effected a complete change 
in society not only in the presbytery of the priest, the cell of the 
monk, and the service of the Church, "but also in the mansions of 
the great, and the dwellings both of the citizens in towns, and of 
the rural population. When the Bible began to be read in the 
households of Christendom, Christendom was changed. There 
were thenceforth new customs, new manners, new conversations, a 
new life. With the publication of the New Testament the Re- 

1 Qui et alicubi in tmum eongesti rogum publicum combust! sunt. 


formation came forth from the school and the Church, and took 
possession of the firesides of the people. 

The effect produced was immense. The Christianity of the 
primitive Church, brought forth by the publication of the Holy 
Scriptures from the oblivion into which it had fallen for ages, was 
thus presented to the eyes of the nation, and this fact is sufficient 
to justify the attacks which had been made upon Rome. The 
humblest individuals, provided they knew the German alphabet, 
women, and mechanics, (this is the account given by a contemporary, 
a great enemy of the Reformation,) read the New Testament with 
avidity. 1 Carrying it about with them, they soon knew it by 
heart, while its pages gave full demonstration of the perfect 
accordance between the Reformation of Luther and the Revelation 
of God. 

Still it was only by piecemeal that the doctrine of the Bible and 
of the Reformation had till then been established. Some one 
truth had been established in this writing, and some one error 
attacked in that. The remains of the ancient edifice and the ma 
terials of the new lay scattered in confusion over a large space of 
ground ; but the new edifice itself was still wanting. The publication 
of the New Testament was fitted to supply this want. The Re 
formation, on receiving this work, could say, There is my system! 
But as every person is ready to maintain that the system he holds 
is that of the Bible, the Reformation behoved to give a systematic 
form to what she had found in Scripture : This Melancthon did in 
her name. 

He had advanced with cautious but sure steps in his theological 
career, and had always boldly published the results of his enquiries. 
So early as 1520, he had declared that in several of the seven 
sacraments he saw only an imitation of Jewish ceremonies ; and, 
in the infallibility of the pope, only an arrogant pretence, equally at 
variance with Scripture and common sense. " To combat these 
dogmas," said he, " we have need of more than one Hercules." 2 
Thus Melancthon had arrived at the same point with Luther, 
though by a calmer and more scientific path. The moment had 
arrived when it behoved him in his turn to make a confession of his 

In 1521, during Luther s captivity, his celebrated work On 
the Common Places of Theology, had presented Christian Europe 
with a body of doctrine solidly based, and admirably proportioned. 
A simple and majestic system was exhibited to the astonished view 

1 lit sutores, mulieres, et quilihet idiotse . . . avidissime legerent. (Cochlseus, p. 50.) 
So that shoe-makers, women, and the most illiterate read with the greatest avidity. 

2 Ad versus quas non uno nobis, ut ita dicam, Hercule opus est. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 137.) 


of the new generation. The translation of the New Testament 
vindicated the Reformation to the common people : the Common 
Places of Melancthon vindicated it to the learned. 

The Christian Church was fifteen centuries old, and no similar 
work had yet appeared. Abandoning the ordinary methods of 
scholastic theology, Luther s friend at length presented Christen 
dom with a theological system derived solely from Scripture, and 
exhibiting a spirit of life and intellect, a force of trutfr.and simplicity 
of expression in striking contrast with the subtle and pedantic 
systems of the schools. The most philosophical minds and the 
strictest theologians alike agreed in admiring it. 

Erasmus described the work as a host set in admirable array 
against the pharisaical tyranny of false teachers ;* and, while de 
claring that he did not agree with the author on all points, he 
added, that, though he had always loved him, he never loved him 
so much as after reading this work. " So true is it," says Calvin T 
at a later period, in introducing the work to France, "that, in 
treating Christian doctrine, the greatest simplicity is the greatest 
virtue." 2 

But none was so much overjoyed as Luther. This work was, 
through life, the object of his admiration. Those isolated sounds 
which, in the deep emotion of his soul, his quivering hand had drawn 
from the harp of the prophets and apostles, were here arranged in 
enrapturing harmony. Those scattered stones, which he had labori 
ously quarried out of the Sacred volume, were now formed into 
a majestic building. Hence he invariably recommended the 
reading of this work to the youths who came to prosecute their 
studies at Wittemberg, saying to them, " If you wuuld be theolo 
gians, read Melancthon." 3 

According to Melancthon, a deep conviction of the misery to 
which man has been reduced by sin, is the basis on which the 
structure of Christian theology must be reared. This incalcul 
able calamity is the primary fact, the generating idea in theological 
science, the characteristic which distinguishes it from all sciences 
which have reason only for their instrument. 

The Christian theologian, probing to the very bottom of man s 
heart, explained its laws and mysterious attractions, as the philoso 
pher of a later period explained the laws and attractions of bodies, 
" Original sin." said he, " is an inclination born with us r a kind of 

1 Tideo dogmatum aciem pulchre instructam adversus tyrannide?n pharisaicam. 
(Er. Ep. p. 949.) I see aji array of doctrine admirably drawn up against pharisaical 
tyranny. 2 La Somme de Theologie, par Philippe Melnncthon. (Geneve, 

1521. Jehan Calvin aux lecteurs.) 3 He elsewhere terms it Librum invictuni 

non solum immortalitate sod et canone ecclesiastico dignurn." (De servo arbitrio.) 
An unanswerable work ; worthy not only of immortality, but of the Sacred canon. 
X D 


impulse which is pleasing to us, a kind of force which draws us iuto 
sin, and which has been transmitted by Adam to all his posterity. 
As there is in fire a native force which carries it upward, as there 
is in the magnet a natural power to attract steel, so there is in 
man a primary force disposing him to evil. I acknowledge that 
Socrates, Xenocrates, and Zeno, displayed constancy, temperance 
and chastity : these shadows of virtue existed in impure minds, 
they proceeded from the love of self, and hence they must be 
regarded not as genuine virtues, but as vices." 1 These words may 
seem harsh ; but they are so only when we misapprehend Melanc- 
thon s meaning. None was more disposed than he to recognise in 
the heathen virtues deserving of human esteem ; but he laid down 
this great truth, that the sovereign law given by God to all his 
creatures is, to love him above all things. Now if man, in doing 
what God commands, does it, not from love to God, but from love 
to self, will God approve of his presuming to prefer himself to his 
infinite majesty, and will there be nothing vicious in an act con 
taining indirect rebellion against his supremacy ? 

The theologian of Wittemberg afterwards shows how man is 
saved from this wretchedness. " The apos*le," says he, " calls 
you to contemplate the Son of God on the right hand of his Father, 
as a powerful Mediator who intercedes for us ; and he asks you to 
be assured that your sins are forgiven, and that you are accounted 
righteous, and received by the Father for the sake of his Son, 
offered as a victim on the cross.* 2 

What makes this first edition of the Common Places particularly 
remarkable, is the manner in which the theologian of Germany 
speaks of free will. He perceives, perhaps, still more clearly than 
Luther had done, being more of a theologian than he, that this 
doctrine could not be separated from that which constituted the 
essence of the Eeformation. The justification of man, before God, 
proceeds only from faith : this is the first point. This faith is 
produced in man s heart only by the grace of God : this is the 
second point. Melancthon is well aware that, by conceding to 
man any natural ability to believe, the great doctrine of grace es 
tablished in the first point, will be destroyed hi the second. He 
had too much discrimination and knowledge of the Scriptures to 
be mistaken in so weighty a matter. But he went too far. In 
stead of confining himself within the limits of the religious question, 
he takes up the metaphysical question, maintaining a fatalism , 

1 Loci communes theologici. Basil, 1521, p. 35. This edition is very rare. For the 
latter revisions, see the edition otErlangen, 1528, formed in that of Bale, 15(51. 

3 Vult te intueri Filium Dei sedentem ad dextram Patris, mediatorem intprpellan- 
tem, pro nobis, (Ibid.) He wishes them to contemplate the Son of God sitting on 
ilie right hand ol the Father, as a Mediator interceding for us. 


which might cause God to be regarded as the author of evil, and 
winch, consequently, has no foundation in Scripture. "All that 
happens," said he, "happening necessarily according to divine 
predestination, it is evident that our will has no liberty." x 

But the object which Melancthon had especially in view, was to 
present theology as a system of godliness. The schoolmen had 
frittered doctrine away until they deprived it of life. The lie- 
former s task, therefore, was to bring it back to life. In subse 
quent editions, Melaucthon saw the necessity of giving a clear 
exposition of doctrine. 2 But the case was somewhat different in 
1521. "To know Christ," said he, "is to know his benefits. 
Paul, in his Epistle to the Komans, when wishing to give a sum 
mary of Christian doctrine, does not philosophise on <the mystery 
of the Trinity, on the mode of the incarnation, on creation, action, 
and passion, etc. Of what, then, does he speak ? Of the law 
of sin of grace. On these the knowledge of Christ depends." 3 

The publication of this system of doctrine was of inestimable 
service to the cause of the gospel. Calumny was refuted, and pre 
judice subdued. In churches, courts, and universities, Melancthou 
was admired for his genius, and loved for the beauties of his cha 
racter. Even those who did not know the author were won to 
his creed by his work. Several had been repulsed by the harsh 
ness and occasional violence of Luther s language ; but here was a 
man who, with great elegance of style, exquisite taste, admirable 
clearness, and the most exact method, expounded the powerful 
truths ".vliich had suddenly burst forth and shaken the world. 
The work was in general request, was read with avidity, and studied 
with ardour. So much meekness and modesty won all hearts. 
So much nobleness and force subdued them ; while the upper 
classes of society, till then undecided, were gained by a wisdom 
which expressed itself in such beautiful language. 

On the other hand, the enemies of the truth, whom Luther s 
formidable blows had not struck down, remained for some time 
mute and disconcerted after the appearance of Melancthon s 
Treatise. It told them that there was another man as worthy oi 
their hatred as Luther. u Alas!" they exclaimed, "unhappy 
Germany! to what extremities must this new birth reduce 
you?" 4 

From 1521 to 1595, seventy-seven editions of the Common 

1 Quando quidem omnia quae eveniunt, necessario eveniunt juxta divinam prsedestr 
naiionem, nulla est voluntatis nostrte libertas. (Loci coinm. theol. B;ile, 1521, p. 35.j 
" See in the edition of 1561, reprinted in 1829, pages 14 to 44, the chapters entitled : 
De tribus personis ; De divinitate Filii : De duabus naturis in Chris to ; Testi- 
monia quod Films sit persona; Testinionia ref utantia Arianos ; De discerneiulis 
propri<:ta;ibu4 lminan;i> (it divinse nature Christi -. De Spiritu sancto, etc. eco. 

3 Hue: est Christum cognoscere.benefieia>arnoscere, etc. (Ibid.) * Heu! 

Ljfelicein h"f uovo partu GrermauiamJ . . Cochl.) 

3 f 


Places appeared, without counting translations. After the Bible, 
it is, perhaps, the book which contributed most powerfully to tiie 
establishment of evangelical doctrine. 


Opposition Henry VIII. Wolsey The Queen Fisher Thomas More Luth;r* g 
Books burnt Henry attacks Luther Presentation to the Pope Effect on Luther 
Force and violence His book Reply of the Bishop of Rochester Reply by 
More Step by the King. 

While the " grammarian," Melancthon, was by his mild accents 
giving such effectual aid to Luther, men in power, hostile to 
the Reformer, were turning with violence against him. Escaped 
from the Wartburg, he had again appeared on the stage of the 
world, and at the news his old enemies had resumed all their rage. 

Luther had been three months and a half at Wittemberg, when 
rumour, with all its exaggerations, brought him the news that one 
of the greatest kings of Christendom had risen up against him. 
The head of the house of the Tudors, a prince, uniting in his person 
the houses both of York and Lancaster, and on whose head, after 
torrents of blood had been shed, the red rose and the white rose 
were at length combined, Henry VIII, the powerful king of Eng 
land, who aspired to re-establish the ancient influence of his 
crown on the continent, and especially in France, had just com 
posed a book against the poor monk of Wittemberg. In a letter 
to Lange, 26th June, 1522, Luther writes, " A great boast is made 
of a little book by the king of England." L 

Henry VIII was then thirty-one years of age: "he was tall, 
strong-built, and proportioned, and had an air of authority and 
empire ;" 2 his features expressing the vigour of his intellect. Of a 
vehement temper, determined to make every thing bend to the 
violence of his passions, and thirsting for glory, he at first con 
cealed his faults under a kind of boisterousness common to youth, 
and was surrounded by flatterers who encouraged them. He 
often repaired with his band of favourites to the house of his 
chaplain, Thomas Wolsey, son of a butcher of Ipswich. This man, 
gifted with great abilities, of an excessive ambition, and an arro- 

* Jactant libellum regis Anglise ; sed leum ilium su^picor sub pelle tectum. (I*. 
Ep. ii, p. 213.) Tliey boast of a little book by the king of England, but I suspect a 
lion (play upon the name Lee, Henry s chaplain) hid under his skin. a (joiik-r * 

Bccl. Hist, of Great Britain, fol. ii, p. 1. 


gance which knew no bounds, being patronised by the bishop of 
Winchester, chancellor of the kingdom, had rapidly advanced in the 
favour of his master, whom he attracted to his house by the seduc 
tion of pleasures and irregularities, in which the young prince 
would not have ventured to indulge in his own palace. Such is 
the account given by Poly do re Virgil, at that time the pope s 
sub-collector in England. 1 At these licentious meetings the chap 
lain outstripped the young courtiers who accompanied Henry 
VIII. He was seen forgetting the gravity of a minister of the 
altar, singing, dancing, laughing, frolicking, using obscene language, 
and fencing. 2 In this way he soon obtained the first place in the 
king s council, and governing the kingdom with absolute sway, 
was courted by all the princes of Christendom. 

Henry, living in a round of balls, festivities, and jousts, foolishly 
squandered the treasures which had been slowly amassed by the 
avarice of his father. Magnificent tournaments succeeded each 
other without interruption. The king, who, in manly beauty, 
surpassed all the combatants, 3 invariably took the lead. If, for 
an instant, the contest appeared doubtful, the dexterity ami 
strength of the prince, or the adroit policy of those opposed to 
him, assured him the victory, and the arena resounded with 
shouts of applause. The vanity of the young prince was inflated 
by these easy triumphs ; and there was no species of success to 
which he did not think himself entitled to aspire. The queen was 
occasionally present among the spectators. Her grave figure, her 
downcast look, her sedate and melancholy air, contrasted with the 
boisterous sounds of these festivities. Henry VIII, shortly after 
his accession to the throne, had, for reasons of state, married 
Catherine of Arragon, who was five years older than himself, the 
widow of his brother, Arthur, and aunt to Charles V. While her 
husband was giving himself up to pleasure, the virtuous Catherine, 
with a piety truly Spanish, rose at midnight to take silent part in 
the prayers of the monks. 4 She threw herself upon her knees, 
without cushion or carpet. At five o clock in the morning, after 
a short repose, she was again up : she was clad in the habit of St. 

1 Domi suse voluptatum omnium sjicrarium fecit, quo regem frequenter ducebat 
(Polyd. Virgilius, Angl. Hist. Bale. 1570, fol. p. 635.) He made his house the abode 
of voluptuousness, and often led the king thither, Polydore Virgil had apparently 
suffered from Wolsey s pride, and been hence disposed to exaggerate the misdeeds of 
this minister. 2 Cum illis adolescentibus una psallebat, saltabat, sermones le- 

poris plenos habebat, ridebat, jocaba tur. (Ibid.) 3 Eximia corporis forma 

praeditus, in qua etiam regise majestatis augusta quaedam species elucebat. (San- 
derus de Schisinate Anglioano, p. 4.) The work of Sanders, papal nuncio in Ireland, 
must De read with caution ; for false and calumnious assertions are not wanting in it, 
as has been observed, even by Cardinal Quirini and the Roman Catholic Dr. Lingard, 
(See Hist, of England, by latter, t. vL, p. 173.) * Surgebat media nocte ut noc- 

turnis religiosorum prccibus interesset. (Sander, p. 5.) 


Francis, for she had entered the tertiary order of this saint ; then, 
hastily covering it with royal vestments, l she repaired to the 
church at six, to the holy offices. 

Two beings, living in two such different worlds, could not re 
main long united. 

Eomish piety, however, had other representatives besides 
Catherine, at the court of Henry VIII. John Fisher, Bishop of 
Rochester, on the borders of seventy, equally distinguished by his 
learning and the purity of his morals, was the object of general 
veneration. He had been the oldest counsellor of Henry VII, 
and the Duchess of Richmond, the grandmother of Henry VIII, 
when on her death-bed, had sent for Fisher and recommended to 
his care the youth and inexperience of her grandson. Amidst his 
irregularities the king long venerated the bishop as a father. 

A man much younger than Fisher, a layman and lawyer, had 
begun to attract general attention by his genius and the nobleness 
of his character. He was named Thomas More, and was the son 
of a judge of the King s Bench. Poor, austere, indefatigable in 
exertion, he had endeavoured at twenty to extinguish the passions 
of youth, by wearing a hair shirt and subjecting himself to disci 
pline. One day, when attending mass, being sent for by the king, 
he replied, that the service of God must take precedence of that of 
his majesty. Wolsey brought him under the notice of Henry VIII, 
who employed him on ditferent embassies, and vowed to have a 
jrreat affection for him. He often sent for him and conversed with 
him about the planets, Wolsey, and theology. 

In fact, the king himself was no stranger to the Romish doc 
trines. It would even appear that, if Arthur had lived, Henry 
would have been destined to the archiepiscopal see of Canterbury. 
Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventura ; 2 tournays, festivals; Elizabeth 
Blunt, and other mistresses besides, all mingled in the thoughts and 
actions of this prince, who caused masses of his own composition 
to be chanted in his chapel. 

As soon as Henry VIH heard of Luther, his wrath was kindled 
Ugainst him ; and scarcely was the decree of the Diet of Worms 
known in England, when he ordered the papal bull to be executed 
against the Reformer s books. 3 On the 12th May, 1521, Thomas 
\Volsey, who, to the office of Chancellor of England, united those 
of Cardinal and Roman legate, repaired to St. Paul s in solemn 
procession. This man, whose pride knew no bounds, thought hiiii- 

1 Subregio vestiiu Divi Francisci haoitu utebatur. (Samlpr., p. 5.) 

2 Legebat studiose libros divi Thomas Aquiuatis. (Polyd. Virgil, p. 634.) Tie stu 
diously read the" books of Thomas Aquinas. 3 Primum lihms Lathers nos, 
quorum mag .ius jam nutnerus pervenerat in man iis snoruin Anglorum, coinlmren- 
fjos cumvit. (Ibid. 664.) His first core was to burn Luther s b joks, a great number 
ot which were in the bands of his subjects. 

V^OLSEY. 79 

self the equal of kings. His chair was of gold, his bed of gold, and 
cloth of gold covered the table at which he dined. 1 Ou this occasion 
he displayed great pomp. The haughty prelate walked, surround 
ed by his household, consisting of eight hundred individuals, among 
whom were barons, knights, and cadets of the most distinguished 
families, who hoped by serving him to obtain public appointments. 
Gold and silk were not only conspicuous on his dress, (he was 
the first ecclesiastic who had ventured to clothe so sumptuously, 3 ) 
but also on the trappings and harness of his horses. Before him 
a priest of a stately figure earned a rod, surrounded by a cruci 
fix ; behind him another, no less stately, carried the archie- 
^iscopal cross of York : a nobleman walking at his side carried 
jis cardinal s hat. 3 He was attended by nobles, prelates, ambas 
sadors of the pope and the emperor, and these were followed by 
a long train of mules, carrying trunks with the richest and most 
splendid coverings. At London, amidst this magnificent proces 
sion, the writings of the poor monk of Wittemberg were carried to 
the flames. On arriving at the cathedral, the proud priest made 
even his cardinal s hat be placed upon the altar. The virtuous 
Bishop of Rochester took his station at the foot of the cross, and 
there, in an animated tone, inveighed against heresy. The im 
pious writings of the heresiarch were then brought forward and 
devoutly burned in presence of an immense crowd. Such was the 
first news which England received of the Reformation. 

Henry did not choose to stop here. This prince, whose sword 
was ever raised against his enemies, his wives, and his favourites, 
in a letter to the Elector Palatine thus expresses himself, " It is 
the devil who, by Luther as his organ, has kindled this immense 
conflagration. If Luther will not be converted, let the flames con 
sume him and his writings." 4 

Even this was not enough. Henry, convinced that the progress 
of heresy was owing to the ignorance of the German princes, 
thought that the moment was come for displaying all his learning. 
The conquests of his battle-axe allowed him not to doubt of the 
conquests reserved for his peri. But another passion still one which 
is always strong in little minds vanity, spurred on the king. He 
felt humbled at having no title to oppose those of " Catholic" and 
"Most Christian," borne by the kings of Spain and France, and he 
was long a suppliant at the Romish court for a similar distinction. 
What better fitted to procure such a title than an attack upon 

1 Ut sella aurea, ut pulvino aureo, ut velo aureo ad mensam. (Ibid.) 

2 Primus episcoporum et cardinalium, A-estitum exteiiorem sericum sibi induifc 
(Ibid. p. 633.) 3 Galerum cardinalium, ordinis insiguem, sublime a nrinistro 
prseferebat . . . super altare collocabat. (Ibid. p. 645.) The cardinal s hat, the badge 
of his rank, was carried aloft by a servant . . . and placed on the altar. 

* Knapp s Naclilese, ii, p. 458. 


heresy ? Henry, therefore, threw aside the royal purple, and de 
scended from his lofty throne into the arena of theologians. He 
made a compilation from Thomas Aquinas, Peter Lombard, Alex 
ander Hales, and Bonaventure, and the world beheld the publica 
tion of the Defence of the Seven Sacraments against Martin Luther, 
by the most invincible King of England, France, and Ireland, Henry, 
Eighth of the name. 

" I will throw myself before the Church," said the King of Eng 
land in this writing, " I will receive in my breast the poisoned 
darts of the enemy who is assailing her. 1 To this the present 
state of affairs calls me. Every servant of Jesus Christ, what 
ever be his age, rank, or sex, must bestir himself against the com 
mon enemy of Christendom. 2 

"Let us arm ourselves with double armour with heavenly 
weapons, that by the arms of truth we may vanquish him who 
combats with the arms of error. But let us also arm ourselves 
with terrestrial armour, in order that, if he proves obstinate in his 
wickedness, the hand of the executioner may constrain him to 
silence ; and he may thus, for once at least, be useful to the world 
by his exemplary punishment." 3 

Henry VIII could not conceal the contempt which he felt for his 
able opponent. " This man," said the crowned theologian, "seems 
as if he were in labour : he makes incredible efforts, but only brings 
forth wind. 4 Pluck off the dress of arrogant expression in which 
his absurdities are clothed, just as an ape is clothed in purple, and 
what will remain ? . . . . Miserable, empty sophistry ! " 

The king defends, in succession, the mass, penance, confirma 
tion, orders, and extreme unction. He spares no insulting epithets, 
calling his opponent by turns an infernal wolf, a venomous viper, 
a limb of the devil. Even Luther s honesty is assailed. Henry 
VIII crushes the mendicant monk with his royal anger, and, in the 
words of a historian, " writes as twere with his sceptre." & 

Still, however, it must be admitted, the work was not bad for 
the author and his age. The style is not without vigour. But the 
public could not content themselves with merely doing it justice. 
A burst of applause received the theological treatise of the power 
ful king of England. "The most learned work that ever the sun 
saw," 6 exclaimed some. " It deserves," rejoined others, " to be 
compared with the works of St. Augustin. He is a Constantine, 

1 Meque adrersus venenata jacula hostis earn oppugnantis objicerem (Assertio 
septem sacramentoruin adv. M. I*utherum, in prologo.) 2 Omnis Christ! servus, 

otnnis Jtas, omnis sexus, omnis ordo consurgat. (Ibid.) 3 Et qui nocuit verbo 

malitijB, supplicii prosit exemplo. (Ibid.) * Mirum est quanta nixu parturient, 

quam nibil peperit, nisi mernm ventum. (Ibid.) Collier. Eccl. Hist. Or. 

Dr., p. 17. 6 Bui-net, Hist, of the Kef. of England, i, p SO. 


a Charlemagne. 1 " He is more," exclaimed a third party, " he is a 
second Solomon ! " 

These exclamations were soon heard beyond the limits of Eng 
land. Henry desired the Dean of Windsor, John Clarke, his am 
bassador to the pope, to deliver his book to the sovereign pontiff. 
Leo X received the ambassador in full consistory. Clarke, in 
presenting the royal work, said, " The king, my master, assures you 
that, after refuting the errors of Luther with his pen, he is ready 
to combat his adherents with the sword." Leo X, deeply gratified 
with this promise, replied that the book of the king of England 
could only have been composed with the aid of the Holy Spirit, 
and named Henry "Defender of the Faith" a title which the kings 
of England still bear. 

The reception given to the king s work at Rome contributed 
greatly to its circulation. In a few months several thousands of 
copies issued from different presses. 1 " The whole Christian world," 
says Cochloeus, " was filled with admiration and joy." 2 

These extravagant praises increased the vanity of the Chief of 
the Tudors. He was brought to fancy he had written with some 
degree of inspiration. 3 Afterwards he would not submit to the 
least contradiction. To him the papacy was no longer at Rome but 
at Greenwich, and infallibility rested on his own head. At a later 
period this contributed greatly to the Reformation of England. 

Luther read Henry s book with mingled disdain, impatience, and 
indignation. The falsehood and insults which it contained, but 
especially the air of contempt and pity affected by the king, irri 
tated the doctor of Wittemberg in the highest degree. The thought 
that the pope had crowned the writing, and that the enemies of 
the Gospel were everywhere trampling on the Reformation and 
the Reformer, as already overthrown and vanquished, increased 
his indignation. Besides, what occasion had he for delicacy? 
Was he not fighting for a king greater than all the kings of the earth ? 
Evangelical mildness seemed to him out of season : eye for eye, 
tooth for tooth. He kept no measure. Pursued, goaded, tracked, 
and wounded, the raging lion turned round and prepared to tear 
his enemy. The Elector, Spalatin, Melancthon, and Bugenhagen, 
tried in vain to appease him. They would have prevented him 
from replying, but he was not to be stopped. " I will not deal 
mildly with the King of England ;" said he, " it is in vain, (I know- 
it is,) to humble myself, to yield, beseech, and try the ways of 
peace. I will at length show myself more terrible than the ferocious 
beasts who are constantly butting me with their horns. I will 

1 Intra paucos menses, liber ejus a multis chalcographis in multa millia multipH- 
catus. (Cochloeus, p. 44.) 2 Ut totum orbem christianum et gaudi<> et admi- 

rauoue repleverit. (Ibid.) Bui-net s Preface. 


let them feel mine : I will preach and irritate Satan until he wears 
himself out, and falls down exhausted." 1 If this heretic retracts 
iiot, says the new Thomas, Henry VIII, he must be burnt. Such 
are the weapons now employed against me : first, the fury of 
stupid asses and Thomastical swine, and then the fire. 2 Very 
well ! Let these swine come forward, if they dare, and buna me ! 
Here I am, waiting for them. My wish is, that my ashes, thrown 
after my death into a thousand seas, may arise, pursue, and en- 
gulph this abominable crew. Living, I will be the enemy of the 
papacy : burnt, I will be its destruction ! Go, swine of St. Thomas, 
do what seemeth to you good. You shall ever find Luther as a 
bear in your way, and a lion in your path. He will thunder upon 
you from all quarters, and leave you no peace until he has brayed 
your brains of iron, and ground to powder your foreheads of brass." 

At the outset Lumber upbraids Henry VIII with having based 
his doctrines only on the decrees and sentences of men. " For me," 
says he, "I cease not to cry, the Gospel! the Gospel! Christ! 
Christ ! while my opponents cease not to reply Customs ! Cus 
toms ! Ordinances ! Ordinances ! Fathers ! Fathers ! " Lei 
your faith" says St. Paul, stand not in the wisdom of men, but in 
tfte power of God." And the apostle, by this thunderbolt from 
heaven, overthrows and scatters, like the dust before the wind, 
all the silly crotchets of this Henry. In confusion and consterna 
tion the Thomists, the papists, and the Henrys fell to the ground, 
before the thunder of these words." 3 

He afterwards refutes the king s production in detail, overthrow 
ing his arguments, one by one, with clearness, ability, and a 
thorough knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and the history of the 
Church, but also with a confidence, disdain, and occasionally a 
violence at which we must not be surprised. 

On arriving at the conclusion, Luther again expresses indigna 
tion at his opponent for drawing arguments only from the fathers : this 
was the essence of the whole controversy. " To all the sayings of 
fathers, men, angels, devils," says he, " I oppose not the antiquity 
of custom, not the multitude, but the Word of the Eternal Majesty, 
the Gospel, which they themselves are constrained to approve. 
By it I hold ; on it I rest ; in it I glory, triumph, and exult over 
papists, Thomists, Henrys, and all the hellish stye. 4 The King 

1 Mea in ipsos exercebo cornua, irritaturus Satanam, donee effusis viribus et co 
natibus corruat in se ipso. (L. Ep. ii, p. 236.) 2 Ignis et furor insulsissimo- 

rum asinorum et Thornisticoruru porcorum. (Contra Henricum Regem, Op. (L.) ii, 
p. 331.) This tract occasionally reminds us of the great agitator of Ireland, only 
there is more strength and mildness in the orator of the sixteenth than in that of the 
nineteenth century, (bee the British Critic, Nov. 1835, Art. Reign of O Conneli.) 
Soaped swine of civilised society," etc., p. 30. 3 Confusi et prostrati jacent a 

facie verborum istius tonitrui. (Contra Henricum regem. Op. (L.) ii, p. 336. 

* Hie sto. hie sedeo, hie maneo, hie glorior, hie triuiupho, hie insulto papistic . . 


of Heaven is with me, and therefore I fear nothing even should a 
thousand Augustins, a thousand Cyprians, and a thousand churches, 
of which Henry is the defender, rise up against me. It is a small 
matter for me to despise and lash an earthly king who himself has 
not feared, in his writing, to blaspheme the King of Heaven and 
profane his holiness by the most audacious falsehood. 2 

" Papists," exclaims he, in concluding, " will you not desist from 
your vain pursuits ? Do as you please : the result, however, must 
be, that before the Gospel which I, Martin Luther, have preached, 
popes, bishops, priests, monks, princes, devils, death, sin, and what 
ever is not Jesus Christ, or in Jesus Christ, shall fall and perish." s 

Thus spoke the poor monk. His violence, certainly, cannot be 
excused, if it is judged by the rule to which he himself appeals, 
viz., the Word of God. We cannot even justify it by alleging 
either the coarseness of the age for Melancthon was able to dis 
cover his courtesy in his writings- or the energy of his disposition, 
for, if this energy had some effect on his language, passion had 
still more. The best course, therefore, is not to attempt to defend 
it. However, to be just, let it be observed, that in the sixteenth 
century this violence did not seem so strange as it appears in the 
present day. The learned were then one of the existing powers as 
well as princes. Henry had attacked Luther by becoming an 
author. Luther replied conformably to the law received in the 
Republic of Letters, viz., that the thing to be considered is the 
truth of what is said, and not the quality of him who says it. Let 
us also add, that when this very king turned against the pope, the 
insults which he received from the Romish writers, and the pope 
himself, far exceeded anything that had been said by Luther. 

Besides, if Luther called doctor Eck an ass, and Henry VIII a 
hog, he indignantly rejected the intervention of the secular arm, 
whereas Dr. Eck wrote a dissertation to prove that heretics ought 
to be burned : and Henry erected scaffolds agreeably to the pre 
cepts of the doctor of Ingolstadt. 

A deep sensation was produced at the king s court. Surrey, 
Wolsey, and the tribe of courtiers broke off the pomps and festi 
vities of Greenwich, to vent their indignation in contumely and 
sarcasm. The venerable bishop of Rochester, who had been de 
lighted when he saw the young prince, who had been early com 
mitted to his charge, breaking a lance for the Church, was deeply 
wounded by the monk s attack, and immediately replied to it. His 
words are very characteristic of his time and his Church. 

(Contra ITenricum regem. Op. (L.) ii,p. 342.) Here I stand, here I sit, here I re- 
jnain, here I glory, here 1 triumph, here I trample <m the papists. 
1 Nee magnum si ego regem terrse coutemuo. (Ibid., p. 344, verso.) 3 L. Op 

xviii, p. 209. 


" Catch for us the small foxes that spoil the vines, says Christ in 
the Song of Songs. This shows," says Fisher, " that we must lay 
hands on heretics before they grow .up. Now Luther has become 
a great fox, a fox so old, and cunning, and malicious, that it is 
very difficult to catch him. What do I say ? a fox ! .... he is 
a mad dog, a ravening wolf, a cruel bear, or rather all these animals 
at once ; for the monster has several beasts in his bosom." l 

Thomas More also descended into the arena to encounter the 
monk of Wittemberg. Although a layman, he pushed his zeal 
against the Reformation the length of fanaticism, if he did not push 
it the length of blood. When young noblemen undertake the defence 
of the papacy, their violence often outstrips that of ecclesiastics 
themselves. " Reverend brother, father, drunkard, deserter of 
the Augustin order, mi shapen bacchanalian as to both kinds of 
law, untaught teacher of sacred theology." 2 Such are the terms 
addressed to the Reformer by one of the most illustrious men of 
his time. Then explaining the mode in which Luther has com 
posed his book against Henry, he says, " He called together his 
companions, and asked each to go his way, and rummage for 
buffoonery and insult. One went to waggoners and boatmen, another 
to baths and gambling houses, a third to barbers shops and taverns, 
a fourth to mills and brothels. Every thing they heard most 
insolent, filthy, and infamous, they noted down, and bringing it 
back, threw it into that impure sink called the mind of Luther." " If 
he retracts his lies and calumnies," he continues, "if he lays aside his 
folly and fury, if he again swallows his abominations, 3 he will find 
some one to debate gravely with him. But if he continues as he has 
begun, jesting, raging, playing the mountebank, slandering, vomiting 
nothing but filth, 4 .... then let others do as they will ; for us, 
we prefer leaving the little friar alone with his fury and his filth." 5 
Thomas More had better have reserved his own. Luther had 
never stooped so low in his style. He made no reply. 

This production increased Henry s attachment to More. He 
once paid him a visit in his modest dwelling at Chelsea. After 
dinner, the king walked with him in his garden, with his arm resting 
on the shoulder of his favourite, while Lady More and her children, 
concealed behind the lattice, could not withdraw their astonished 
eyes. After one of these w alks, More, who knew Henry s character, 

1 Canem dixissem rabidum, imo lupum rapacissimum, aut saivissimam quamdam 
ursam. (Cochloeus, p. 60.) 2 Reverendus frateiypater, potator, Lutherus. 

(Ibid., p. 61.) s Si .... suas resorbeat et sua relingat stercora. (Ibid., p. 62.) 

* Sentinas, cloacas, latrinas .... stercora. (Ibid., p. 63.) 5 Cum suia 

. . . . et stercoribus .... relinquere. (Ibid., p. 62.) Cochloeus quotes these passages 
exultingly, as being, to his taste, the finest in Sir Thomas Move s production. M. 
Nisard^ on the contrary, in his work on More, whose apology he makes with so much 
warmth and learning, admits " that the filth inspired by the passion of the Catholic is 
such as to render translation impossible." (Revue des deux Mondes, v, p. 592.) 


said to bis wife, " If my head could gain him a single castle in 
France, he would never hesitate." 

The king, thus defended by the Bishop of Rochester and his 
future chancellor, had no occasion to resume his pen. Confounded 
at seeing himself treated in the face of Europe as a mere author, 
Henry abandoned the dangerous position he had taken up, and 
throwing away his theological pen, had recourse to the more effica 
cious methods of diplomacy. 

An ambassador set off from the court at Greenwich with a letter 
from the king to the Elector and the Dukes of Saxony. Henry thus 
expressed himself: "Luther, the true dragon fallen from heaven, 
is pouring out his venomous floods on the earth. He is stirring up 
revolt in the Church of Jesus Christ, abolishing the laws, insulting 
the powers, exciting laymen against priests, laymen and priests 
against the pope, and subjects against kings, his only wish being to 
see Christians fighting together and destroying each other, and the 
enemies of our faith grinning with delight over the scene of carnage. 1 

" What is this doctrine which he terms evangelical but the doc 
trine of Wickliffe ? Now, most honoured uncles, I know what 
your ancestors did to destroy it. They pursued it in Bohemia as 
if it had been a wild beast, and causing it to fall into a trap, there 
enclosed and barricaded it. You will not allow it to escape by your 
negligence, steal into Saxony, and take possession of all Germany, 
sending forth from its fuming nostrils the fire of hell, and spreading 
far and wide the conflagration which your country so often desired 
to extinguish in its blood. 2 

" Wherefore, most excellent Mends, I feel myself called to ex 
hort you, and even to implore you by all that is most sacred, speedily 
to strangle the cursed sect of Luther. Put no one to death if it can 
possibly be avoided; but if heretical obstinacy continues, shed 
blood without fear in order that this abominable sect may cease 
from under heaven." 3 

The Elector and his brother referred the king to the future 
Council. Thus Henry was far from succeeding in his object. u So 
great a man mingling in the dispute," says Paul Sarpi, " served to 
excite more curiosity and procure universal favour for Luther, as 
usually happens in combats and tournays, where the spectators 
always incline to the weakest party, and take pleasure in giving a 
higher place to his humble exploits. 

1 So ergiest er, gleich wie eine Schlang voin Himmel geworfen . (L. Op. xviii, p.21 2.) 
The original is in Latin Velut a ccelo dejectus serpens, virus effundit in terras. 
3 Und durch sein schadlich Ar.blasen das hbllische Feuer ausspriihe. (Ibid., p 21".) 
a Oder aber auch mit I31ut vergiessen. (Ibid.) 4 History of the Council of 

Trent, pp. 15, 16. 



General Movement The Monks How the Reformation is Accomplished Ordinary 
Utilievers The Old and the New Teachers Printing arid Literature Booksellers 
and Hawkers. 

In fact., an immense movement was taking place. The Refor 
mation which, after the Diet of Worms was supposed to be shut 
up with its first teacher within the narrow chamber of a strong 
castle, burst forth, spreading throughout the empire, and even 
throughout Christendom. The two parties, till then confounded, 
oegan to stand apart from each other, and the partisans of a monk 
who had nothing on his side but his eloquence, fearlessly took up 
their position confronting the servants of Charles V, and Leo X. 
Luther had just quitted the walls of the Wartburg, the pope had 
excommunicated all who had adhered to him, the imperial diet had 
condemned his doctrine, princes were hastening to crush it in the 
greater part cf the Germanic States, the ministers of Rome were 
tearing it to pieces before the people by their violent invectives, the 
other states of Christendom were calling upon Germany to sacri 
fice an enemy, whose attacks they dreaded even at a distance ; and 
yet this new and not numerous party, without organisation, without 
connecting ties, with nothing, in short, to concentrate the common 
strength, had already, by the energy of their faith and the rapidity of 
their conquests, spread terror over the vast, ancient, and mighty do 
main of Rome. Every where, as in the first breathings of Spring, the 
seed was seen bursting forth from the ground without effort, and, 
as it were, spontaneously. Every day gave evidence of new pro 
gress. Individuals, villages, burghs, whole towns, united in the 
new confession of the name of Jesus Christ. There was stern 
resistance and dreadful persecution ; but the mysterious power 
which urged forward the people was irresistible, and the persecuted 
hastening on and advancing, amid exile, imprisonment, and scaf 
folds, were eveiy where succeeding against the persecutors. 

The monastic orders, which Rome had stretched over Christen 
dom, like a net destined to take souls and hold them captive, were 
the first to break these bonds, and rapidly propagate the new doc 
trine throughout the Western Church. The Augustins of Saxony 
had advanced with Luther, having, like him, that intimate experi 
ence of the divine Word which gives an interest in God himself, and 
so dispenses with Rome and her arrogant pretensions. But in the 
other convents of the order, evangelical light had also arisen. Some 
times it was old men who, like Staupitz, had preserved the sound 


doctrines of truth in the bosom of ill-used Christendom, and were 
now asking God to let them depart in peace because their eyes 
had seen his salvation. At other times, it was young men who, 
with all the eagerness of early life, had received the lessons of 
Luther. At Nuremberg, Osnabruck, Dettingen, Ratisbon, Hesse, 
Wurtemberg, Strasburg, Antwerp, the Augustin convents turned 
towards Christ, and by their courage provoked the wrath of 

But the movement was not confined to the Augustins. They 
were imitated in the monasteries of the other orders by bold indivi 
duals, who, in spite of the clamour of such monks as were unwilling 
to abandon their carnal observances, in spite of wrath, contempt, 
and sentences of condemnation, in spite of discipline and cloistral 
prisons, fearlessly raised their voice for this holy and precious 
truth, which, after so many painful searches, so many distressing 
doubts, so many internal struggles, they had found at last. In 
the greater part of the cloisters, the most spiritually minded, the 
most pious and best informed of the inmates declared in favour of 
Reform. In the Franciscan convent at Ulm, Eberlin and Ketten- 
bach attacked the servile works of monachism, and the supersti 
tious practices of the Church, with an eloquence which might have 
earned a nation, calling, in one breath, for the suppression of the 
abodes of monks and the abodes of debauchery. Stephen Kemp, 
another Franciscan, standing alone, preached the gospel at Ham 
burg, and with undaunted breast, withstood the hatred, envy, 
menaces, snares, and attacks of priests, irritated when they saw the 
people forsaking their altars and crowding with enthusiasm to his 
sermons. 1 

Often even the heads of convents were the first ta move in the 
direction of Reform. At Halberstadt, Neuenwerk, Halle, and Sa- 
gan, the priors set their monks the example, or at least declared 
that if any monk felt his conscience burdened by monastic vows, 
so far from detaining him in the convent, they would take him on 
their shoulders to carry him out. 2 

In fact, throughout Germany, monks were seen depositing their 
frocks and cowls at the door of their monastery. Some were ex 
pelled by the violence of the friars or abbots; others of a mild and 
pacific character could not endure the disputes which were per 
petually springing up, the insult, clamour, and hatred which pur 
sued them even in their sleep. The majority were convinced that 
the monastic life was opposed to the will of God and the Christian 
life. Some had arrived gradually at this conviction, and others 

1 T>er ubrisen Predij^er Feindschafft, Neid, Nfichstellungen, Praticken und Sclmv- 
kfcii. (Seckendorff, p. 457.) 2 lbid., p. 811. StentzeL Script. Her. S; es, i, p. 457. 


all at once while reading some passage of the Bible. Idleness, 
coarseness, ignorance, and meanness, the essential characteristics 
of the mendicant orders, produced ineffable disgust in men of an 
exalted spirit, who felt it impossible any longer to endure the 
company of their vulgar associates. A Franciscan begging his 
round presented himself one day, with his box in his hand, at a 
smithy in Nuremberg, " Why," said the smith to him, " do you 
not rather gain your bread by working with your own hands? 
At these words the sturdy monk threw away his dress, and seiz 
ing the hammer with a vigorous hand, made it fall with force on 
the anvil. The useless mendicant had become an honest mechanic. 
His box and frock were sent back to the monastery. 1 

Nor were monks the only persons who ranged themselves under 
the standard of the gospel ; priests in still greater numbers preached 
the new doctrine. But it did not even need preachers to diffuse 
it: it often acted on the minds of men, and awoke them from their 
deep sleep before any one had addressed them. 

In towns, burghs, and even villages, Luther s writings were 
read in the evening at the fireside, or in the house of the school 
master. Some of the inhabitants were struck by this reading ; they 
applied to the Bible to clear np their doubts, and were astonished 
when they saw the strange contrast between their Christianity and 
the Christianity of the Bible. Hesitating for a time between Rome 
and the Holy Scriptures, they took refuge in that living word which 
shed a sudden and delightful light on their souls. Meanwhile, 
some evangelical preacher appeared, perhaps a priest, perhaps a 
monk. He spoke with eloquence and conviction ; 2 he declared 
that Christ had satisfied fully for the sins of the people, proving 
from Scripture the vanity of human works and penances. A 
formidable opposition burst forth. The clergy and frequently the 
magistrates used every effort to bring back those souls which they 
would have destroyed ; but there was in the new preaching an 
accordance with Scripture, and a hidden energy which won men s 
hearts, subduing the most rebellious. At the risk of their goods, or, if 
need were, at the risk of their lives, they embraced the cause of the 
gospel, and abandoned the barren, fanatical orators of the papacy. 3 
Sometimes the people irritated at being so long imposed upon com 
pelled the priests to withdraw, but more frequently the priests, 
abandoned by their flocks, without tithes, without offerings, went 
off in sadness, of their own accord, to go and seek a living else- 

i Ranke Deutsche Geschiehte, ii, p. 70. 2 Eaque omnia pi-ompte, alacriter. 

eloquenter (Cochlceus, p. 52.) 3 Populo odibiles catholic! concionatores. (Ibid.) 

The catholic preachers were odious to the people. 


where. 1 And while the props of the ancient hierarchy withdrew sul 
len and downcast, sometimes taking leave of their old flocks in 
words of malediction, the people overjoyed at having found truth 
and liberty, gathered round the new preachers with acclamation, 
and eager to hear the word, carried them, as it were, in triumph 
into the church and th pulpit. 2 

A powerful doctrine which came from God was then renovating 
society. The people or their leaders frequently -wrote for some 
man of known faith to come and enlighten them, and he, for the 
love of the gospel, forthwith abandoned all family, friends, and 
country. 3 Persecution often forced the friends of the Keformation 
to quit their homes. Arriving in some place where it was not yet 
known, finding some house which offered an asylum to poor 
travellers, they spoke of the gospel, read some pages of it to the 
attentive burghers, and obtained leave, perhaps at the request of 
then: new friends, to preach one sermon in the church. Then 
a vast conflagration burst forth in the town, and the utmost efforts 
were unable to extinguish it. 4 If permission to preach in the 
church was denied, they preached elsewhere. Every place became 
a church. At Husum in Holstein, Herman Tast, who was on his 
way from Wittemberg, and against whom the parish clergy had 
shut the church, preached to an immense crowd in the burying- 
ground, under the shade of two large trees, not far from the spot 
where, seven centuries before, Anschar had proclaimed the gospel 
to the pagans. At Arnstadt, the Augustin, Gaspard Gtittel, 
preached in the market place. At Dantzig, the gospel was preached 
on a hill in the neighbourhood of the town. At Gosslar, a student 
of Wittemberg preached the new doctrine in a grove of linden trees, 
a circumstance which procured for the evangelical Christians the 
name of Linden Brothers. 

While the priests were exhibiting in the eyes of the people a 
sordid avidity, the new preachers thus addressed them "We re 
ceived it freely, and we give it to you freely." 5 An idea often 
proclaimed from the pulpit by the new preachers, viz., that Rome 
had, of old, sent the Germans a corrupted gospel, and that Ger 
many was now, for the first time, hearing the Word of Jesus 
Christ in its divine and primitive beauty,, produced a profound 
impression. 1 The great idea of the equality of all men, and of an 

1 Ad extremam redact! inopiam, aliunde eibi victum quserere cogerentur. (CocTi- 
loeus, p. 53.) Being reduced to extreme want they were obliged to seek their living 
elsewhere. 2 Triumphantibus novisprsedicatoribus, qui sequacem populum xerbo 
iiovi Evangelii sui ducebant. (Ibid.) To the exultation of the new preachers who 
drew the people after them by the preaching of the new gospel. 3 Multi, omissa 

re domestica, in speciem veri Evangelii, parentes et amicos relinquebant. (Ibid.) 
Many abandoning their domestic affairs for a show of the true gospel forsook their 
parents and friends. 4 Ubi vero aliquns nacti fuissent amicos in ea civitate. 

(Ibid., p. 54.) When they had found some friends in that city. s Mira eis erat 

liberalitas. (Ibid., p. 53.) Their liberality was wonderful. 


universal brotherhood in Jesus Christ, enraptured those who had 
long been weighed down under the yoke of feudalism and the 
papacy of the middle ages. 2 

Often unlettered Christians, with the New Testament in their 
hands, offered to defend the Reformed doctrine. The Catholics, 
adhering to Rome, withdrew in alarm; for the business of study 
ing the Holy Scriptures was committed to priests and monks only. 
These accordingly saw themselves obliged to come forward. A 
discussion commenced, but the priests and monks, overwhelmed by 
laymen with quotations from the Holy Scriptures, soon knew not 
vhat to oppose to them. 3 . . . . " Unfortunately," says 
Cochloeus, " Luther had persuaded his followers that faith was to 
be given only to the oracle of the sacred books." A shout arose 
in the assembly, and proclaimed the shameful ignorance of these 
old theologians, who, till then, had passed with their party for 
men of learning. 4 

The humblest individuals, even the weaker sex, with the help of 
the Word, persuaded and gained converts. Extraordinary acts 
are done in extraordinary times. At Ingolstadt, under the very 
eyes of Doctor Eck, a young weaver read the writings of Luther 
to the assembled multitude. In the same place, the university hav 
ing resolved to force a retractation from a pupil of Melancthon, a 
female, named Argula of Staufen. undertook his defence, and chal- 
/enged the professors to a public disputation. Women and children, 
artisans and soldiers, were more learned in the Bible than teachers 
in schools, and priests at altars. 

Christendom was divided into two camps, whose appearance 
presented a striking contrast. Confronting the old supporters of the 
hierarchy, who had neglected the acquisition of languages and 
the cultivation of letters (this is the account given by one of them 
selves), stood a generous youth, accustomed to study, deeply read 
in the Scriptures, and familiar with the masterpieces of antiquity. 5 
Gifted with a ready understanding, an elevated mind, and an in 
trepid heart, these youths soon acquired such knowledge, that for 
a long time none could compete with them. Their superiority to 
their contemporaries consisted, not merely in their living faith, but 
also in an elegance of style, a savour of antiquity, a true philo 
sophy, a knowledge of the world, completely unknown to the 

1 Earn usque (Mem nunquam germane preedicatam. (Coch. p. 53.) That till that 
davit never had been preached in Germany. " Omnes aequales etfratres in Christo. 
(Ibid.) 3 Alaicis Lutlieranis, plures scripturaB locos, quam a monachis et pres- 

hyteris. (Ibid. p. 54.) More passages of Scripture were quoted by Lutheran laics 
than by monks and presbyters. * Reputabantur Catholic! ab illis ignari Scrip- 

turarum. (Ibid.) The Catholics Tvere reported by them to be ignorant of the 
Scriptures. 5 Totam vero jnventutem, eloquentine litteris, linsrvumimque studio 

dfdiram .... in partem suarn traxit. (IhirU All the youth devoted to. eloquence, 
literature, and the study of languages, he drew over to his party, 


theologians, veteris farina, (of the old stock) as Cochloeus himself 
designates them. Accordingly, when these young defenders of the 
Reformation happened to come in contact, at some public meeting, 
with the Roman doctors, they attacked them with so much ease 
and confidence, that the illiterate doctors hesitated, became con 
fused, and fell, deservedly, into universal contempt. 

The ancient edifice gave way under the weight of superstition and 
ignorance, and the new edifice was reared up on the .basis of faith 
and knowledge. New elements were introduced into common life. 
Lethargy and stupidity were every where succeeded by a spirit of 
inquhy and thirst for instruction. An active, enlightened, and 
living faith took the place of superstitious observances and ascetic 
contemplation. Devout works succeeded devotee practices and 
penances. The pulpit was preferred to the ceremonies of the 
altar, and the ancient and sovereign authority of the Word of God 
was again established in the Church. 

Printing, that mighty engine which the fifteenth century had 
invented, seconded all these efforts, and by means of its powerful 
projectiles, was continually making breaches in the walls of the 

In Germany an immense impulse was given to popular litera 
ture. Up to 1517, only thirty-five publications had appeared; 
but the number increased with astonishing rapidity after the pub 
lication of Luther s theses. In 1518, we find seventy-one different 
works; in 1519, a hundred and eleven; in 1520, two hundred and 
eight; in 1521, two hundred and eleven; in 1522, three hundred 
and forty-seven; in 1523, four hundred and ninety-eight. . . 
And where were all these published? Almost invariably at Wit- 
temberg. And who was their author? Most frequently, Luther. 
In 1522, two hundred and thirty writings of the Reformer ap 
peared ; and, in the following year, one hundred and eighty-three. 
This same year, the whole of the Catholic publications amounted 
only to twenty. 1 The literature of Germany was thus formed at 
the same time as its religion, amidst contention; and already 
gave promise of being learned, profound, bold, and active, as it has 
since appeared. The national mind was thus displayed, for the 
first time, in an unsophisticated form, and at the very moment of its 
birth was baptised with the fire of Christian enthusiasm. 

What Luther and his friends composed, others disseminated 
Monks, convinced of the unlawfulness of monastic ties, desirous to 
substitute a life of activity for long idleness, but too ignorant to be 
themselves preachers of the Word, traversed the provinces, and 

1 Panzer s Annalen der Deutsch. Litt Ranke s Deutsch Gesch. ii, p. 79. 

3 g 


visited the hamlets and huts, selling the works of Lather and hig 
friends. Germany was soon covered with these bold colporteurs. 1 
Printers and booksellers eagerly received all the writings in de 
fence of the Reformation, but declined those of the opposite party, 
which were usually a mere compound of ignorance and barbarism.* 
When any one of them ventured to sell a book in favour of the 
papacy, and to expose it at fairs, at Frankfort, or elsewhere, 
dealers, purchasers, or literary men, assailed him with a showei 
of derision and sarcasm. 3 In vain had the emperor and the prince* 
issued severe edicts against the writings of the Reformers. When 
ever an inquisitorial visit was to be made, the merchants, who had 
secret notice of it, concealed the books which were proscribed ; and 
the people, always eager for what is sought to be kept from them, 
afterwards got possession of these writings, and read them more 
greedily than before. These things were not confined to Germany. 
Luther s writings were translated into French, Spanish, English, 
and Italian, and disseminated among these nations. 


Luther at Zwickau The Castle of Freyberg Worms Frankfort Universal more, 
ment Wittemberg, the centre of the Reformation Luther s sentiments. 

If the humblest individuals inflicted such heavy blows on Rome, 
what must it have been, when the monk of Wittemberg made his 
own voice be heard ? Shortly after the defeat of the new prophets, 
Luther, dressed as a layman, crossed the territory of Duke George 
in a car. His frock was concealed, and his appearance was that 
of an ordinary citizen of the country. Had he been recognised, or 
had he fallen into the hands of the angiy duke, perhaps it would 
have been all over with him. He was going to preach at Zwickau, 
the cradle of the newprophets. No sooner was this known at Schnee- 
berg, Annaberg, and the neighbourhood, than crowds began to 
flock to it. Fourteen thousand persons arrived in the town, and as 
there was no church capable of containing such a multitude, Luther 
got up on the balcony of the town-house, and preached to an 
audience of twenty-five thousand, who covered the public square, 

1 Apostatarum.monasteriis relictis, infinitus jam erat numerus, in speciem biblio- 
polarum. (Cochloeus, p. 54.) An infinite number of apostates who had left their 
monasteries, now appeared in the form of booksellers. 2 Catholicorum, velut 

indocta et veteris barbariei trivialia scripts, contemnebant. (Ibid.) They despised the 
writings of the Catholics as unlearned, or filled wi;li the trifles of ancient barbarism. 

8 In publicis mercatibus Francofordise et alibi, vexabantur ac ridebantur. (Ibid.) 


some of them seated on a heap of building materials, which happened 
to have been laid down. 1 The servant of Christ was speaking with 
fervour on the election of grace, when suddenly some cries were 
heard from the middle of the audience. An old woman, with haggard 
looks, was stretching out her bony arms from the top of the stone 
on which she stood, and seemed desirous, by her earnest gesture, 
to keep back the crowd, who were going to throw themselves at 
the feet of Jesus Christ. Her wild cries interrupted the preacher. 
Seckendorff says, "It was the devil in the shape of an old woman, 
trying to excite a disturbance." 2 But it was in vain : the voice 
of the Reformer having silenced the evil spirit, thousands of 
hearers were seized with a feeling of enthusiasm, exchanging looks, 
and shaking hands with each other. The monks, struck dumb, 
could not quell the storm, and shortly saw themselves obliged to 
quit Zwickau. 

Duke Henry, the brother of Duke George, was residing in the 
castle of Freyberg. He was married to a princess of Mecklenburg, 
who, the year before, had given him a son, named Maurice. To a 
love of the table and pleasure, Henry joined the bluntness and 
rudeness of a soldier. He was, moreover, pious, after the fashion 
of the times, and had made one pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and 
another to St. James of Compostella. " At Compostella," he was 
wont to say, u I placed a hundred gold florins on the altar of the 
saint, saying to him, 1 St. James, it was to please you I came 
hither ; I make you a present of this money : but if those rogues 
(the priests) take it from you, I cannot help it : look then to your 
self." l 

A Franciscan and a Dominican, disciples of Luther, had for some 
time been preaching the gospel at Freyberg. The duchess, whose 
piety had inspired her with a horror at heresy, listened to their 
discourses, wondering how that sweet doctrine of a Saviour could be 
the doctrine which she had been made to dread so much. Her eyes 
were gradually opened, and she found peace in Jesus Christ. No 
sooner did it reach the ears of Duke George, that the gospel was 
preached at Freyberg, than he prayed his brother to set his face 
against these novelties. Chancellor Strehlin and the canons 
seconded him with their fanaticism. There was a great explosion 
at the court of Freyberg. Duke Henry harshly reprimanded and 
upbraided the pious duchess, who, on more than one occasion, shed 
tears over the cradle of her child. Her prayers and gentleness 
gradually won the duke s heart ; the harshness of his nature was 

1 Von dem Rathhaus unter einem Zulauf von 25,000 Menschen. (Seclt., p. 539.) 
Der Teufel indem er sich in Gestalt eines altes Weibes .... (Ibid.) 3 Lassl 

du dir tf die Buben nehmen .... (Ibic 1 ., p. 430.) 


softened ; and complete harmony was established between the spouses, 
who could now pray together beside their son. A great destiny was 
reserved for this child ; from this cradle, over which a Christian 
mother had so often poured forth her griefs, God was one day to 
bring forth the defender of the Reformation. 

The inhabitants of Worms had been deeply moved by Luther s 
intrepidity. The magistrates durst not contravene the imperial 
decree, and all the churches were shut ; but in an open space, covered 
with an immense assemblage, a preacher from a pulpit of rude 
construction preached the gospel with power. If the authorities 
made their appearance, the crowd dispersed in a moment, secretly 
carrying off the pulpit ; but, when the storm blew over, it was im 
mediately erected in some more distant spot, whither the crowd again 
nocked to hear the Word of Christ. This temporary pulpit was 
daily earned from place to place, and served to confirm the people 
in the impression which they had received from the grand scene at 
the Diet l 

In one of the free towns of the empire, Frankfort on the Maine, 
the greatest agitation prevailed. Ibach, a courageous evangelist, 
was there preaching salvation by Jesus Christ. The clergy, of 
whom Cochloeus, so well known by his wri tings and his hatred, was 
one, enraged at this audacious colleague, denounced him to the Arch 
bishop of Mentz. The council, though timid, tried to defend him, 
but in vain: he was deposed by the clergy and banished. Rome 
triumphed, and all seemed lost. The faithful in humble life thought 
themselves for ever deprived of the Word. But at the moment when 
the citizens seemed disposed to yield to those tyrannical priests, 
several of the nobility declared in favour of the gospel. Max of 
Molnheim, Harmuth of Cronberg, George of Stockheim, Emerick of 
Reiffenstein, whose estates were in the neighbourhood of Frank 
fort, wrote to the council, "We are constrained to oppose these 
wolves." In an address to the clergy, they say, " Embrace the 
evangelical doctrine, recal Ibach, or we will withhold our tithes ..." 

The people who relished the Reformed doctrine were embold 
ened by this language of the nobles ; and, one day, when Peter 
Mayer, the priest most opposed to the Reformation and the per- 
secuter of Ibach, was going to preach against the heretics, a great 
tumult suddenly arose. Mayer took fright, and rushed out of the 
church. This commotion decided the Council, who issued an order 
enjoining all preachers simply to preach the Word of God, or quit 
the town. 

The light which had radiated from Wittemberg as its centre, 
was thus diffused over the whole empire. In the west, the dis- 

1 So liessen sie eine Canzel machen, die man von einem Ort zum andern .... 
Seek., p. 436.) 


tricts of Berg, Cleves, Lippstadt, Minister, Wesel, Miltenberg, 
Mentz, Deux-Ponts, and Strasburgh, heard the gospel. In the 
south, Hof, Schlesstadt, Baniberg, Esslingen, Hall in Suabia, Heil- 
bronn, Augsburg, Ulm, and may other places hailed it with joy. 
In the east, the duchy of Liegnitz, Prussia, and Pomerania opened 
their gates to it. In the north, Brunswick, Halberstadt, Gosslar, 
Zell, Friesland, Bremen, Hamburgh, Holstein, and even Denmark 
and other neighbouring countries were moved at the sound of the 
new doctrine. 

The Elector had declared that he would give the bishops full 
liberty to preach in his States, but that he would not deliver any 
person up to them. Accordingly the evangelical preachers, per 
secuted in other countries, soon began to take refuge in Saxony. 
Ibach of Frankfort, Eberlin of Ulm, Kauxdorf of Magdeburg, Val 
entine Musteus, whom the canons of Halberstadt had horribly 
mutilated, 1 and other faithful ministers from all parts of Germany, 
flocked to Wittemberg as the only asylum in which they could feel 
secure. There, by intercourse with the Reformers, they had their 
own faith strengthened, and communicated the results of their ex 
perience and of the light which they had received ; just as the water 
of rivers is brought back by the clouds from the boundless ocean, 
to feed the glaciers from which it formerly flowed into the plain. 

The work, which was in course of development at Wittemberg, 
thus composed of many different elements, was constantly becoming 
more and more the work of the nation of Europe of Christendom. 
This school, founded by Frederick, and animated by Luther, was the 
centre of the vast revolution which was renewing the Church, and 
imprinted on it a real and living unity, far superior to the appa 
rent unity of Rome, The Bible reigned at Wittemberg, and its 
oracles were every where heard. This university, the most recent 
of all, had acquired, in Christendom, the rank and influence which 
had hitherto belonged to the ancient university of Paris. The 
crowds who flocked to it from every part of Europe, told the wants 
of the Church and the nations, and, on quitting its walls, now be 
come sacred in their eyes, carried back to the Church and to the 
people the word of grace, destined to cure and save the nations. 

Luther, at the sight of this success, felt his courage strengthened. 
He saw a feeble enterprise, begun amid numerous fears and agonies, 
changing the face of the Christian world, and he was astonished. 

1 Aliquot ministri canonicorum capiunt D. Valentinum Mustseum et vinctum 
manibus pediljusque, injecto in ejus os freno, deferunt per trabes in inferiores coeno- 
bii partes, ibique in cella cerevisiaria eum castrant. (Hamelmann. Hist, renati Evan- 
gelii, p. 880.) Some servants of the canons lay hold of Valentine Musteus, and, after 
tying his hands and feet, and fragging him, carry him on a barrow to the lower vaults 
of the monastery, and there, in a cell, mutilated him. . 


He had foreseen nothing of the kind when he first rose up against 
Tezel. Prostrating himself before the God whom he adored, he 
acknowledged that this work was His work, and he triumphed in 
the conviction of having gained a victory which could not again be 
wrested from him. " Our enemies threaten us with death y " 
said he to the Chevalier Harmuth of Cronberg, "had they as much 
wisdom as they have folly, it would, on the contrary, be life that 
they would threaten us with. It is not mere jest or insult to 
threaten Christ and Christians with death, in other words, those 
who are the masters and the conquerors of death. 1 It is as if I 
were to try to frighten a man by saddling his steed and helping 
him to mount it. Do they not know, then, that Christ is risen from 
the dead ? As to them, he is still lying in the sepulchre. Where 
do I say? In hell. But we, we know that he lives !" He was 
indignant at the idea of being regarded as the author of a work, 
in the minutest details of which, he recognised the hand of God. 
" Several," said he, " believe on my account ; but those only are in 
the truth who would remain faithful, though they were to believe 
(which God forbid) that I had denied Jesus Christ. The true 
disciples believe not in Luther, but in Jesus Christ. For my own 
part, I care not for Luther. 2 Be he saint, or be he rogue, what is 
it to me ? It is not him I preach, it is Christ. If the devil can 
take him, let him take him. But let Christ remain with us, and we 
shall remain also." 

In fact it were vain to attempt to explain this movement by 
natural means. The literati, it is true, whetted their pens, and 
threw sharp darts at the monks and the pope : the cry of free 
dom, which Germany had so often raised against the tyranny of 
the Italians, again resounded in castles and provinces : the people 
rejoiced when they heard the notes of the " nightingale of Wittem- 
berg," a pressage of the spring which was every where beginning 
to bud. 3 But the movement which was then taking place was 
not similar to that which a longing for earthly freedom produces. 
Those who say that the Keformation was produced by offering the 
property of convents to princes, marriage to priests, and liberty to 
the people, strangely misapprehend its nature. No doubt, a use 
ful employment of the funds which had till then fostered the 
idleness of monks, no doubt marriage and liberty, both of them 
gifts from God, might favour the development of the Reformation, 
but the moving force was not there. An internal revolution was 
then produced in the depths of the human heart. The Christian 
people again learned to love, forgive, pray, suffer, and even die for 

1 Herren und Seigmanner des Todes. (L. Ep. ii, p. 164.) 2 Ich kenne auch 

selbst nicht den Luther. (Ibid., p. 168.) * Wittemberger Nachtigal, a collection 

ol poetry by Hans Sachs, 1523. 


a truth which promised repose only in heaven. The Church was 
transformed. Christianity burst the swathes which had so long 
enwrapt it, and again returned full of life to a world which had 
forgotten its ancient power. The hand which made the world was 
again at work upon it, and the gospel re-appearing amidst the 
nations, pursued its course in spite of the powerful and reiterated 
efforts of kings and priests, in the same way as the ocean, when 
the hand of God presses on its waves, rises calmly and majestically 
along the shore, while no human power is capable of arresting its 




Political element Wat of Enthusiasm at Rome Siege of Pampeluna Courage 
of Inigo -Transformation Luther and Loyola Visions The two principles. 

The Keformation, which at first had existed only in the heart of 
some pious individuals, had entered the worship and life of the 
Church. It was natural for it to take a new step to penetrate 
into civil relations and the movements of nations. Its progress 
was invariably from within to without. We shall now see this 
great revolution taking its place in the political world. 

For nearly eight centuries Europe formed a vast sacerdotal 
state. Emperors and kings were under the patronage of popes. 
Though there had been in France and especially in Germany ener 
getic resistance to audacious claims, Eome had finally succeeded, 
and princes had been seen acting as the docile executioners of her 
horrible judgments, fighting in order to secure her empire against 
private Christians subject to their sway, and on her account pro 
fusely shedding the blood of their people. 

ISTo assault could be made on this vast ecclesiastical state, of 
which the pope was the head, without powerfully affecting politi 
cal relations. 

At this time two great ideas agitated Germany : on the one 
hand, a renovation of faith was desired; on the other, a national 
government, in which the Germanic states should be represented, 
and a counterpoise thereby formed to the power of the emperors. 1 

The Elector Frederick had insisted on this at the election which 
had given a successor to Maximilian, and young Charles had ac 
ceded to it. A national government, consisting of the emperor 

i Pfeffel. Droit publ. de 1 All., 590. Robertson s Charles V, iii, 114. Ranke, Deui 
sche Gesch. 


and the representatives of the electors, and circles had in conse 
quence been formed. 

Thus Luther reformed the Church, and Frederick of Saxony 
reformed the state. 

But while in correspondence to the religious reform, important 
political modifications were introduced by the heads of the nation, 
there was a danger that " the commonalty " might also begin tc 
move, and, by religious and political excesses, compromise both 

This violent and fanatical intrusion of the populace and certain 
of their leaders, which seems inevitable whenever society is shaken 
and transformed, failed not to be manifested in Germany at the 
time of which we now treat. 

There were other causes besides which gave rise to these agita 

The emperor and the pope had leagued against the Reforma 
tion, which seemed destined to fall under the blows of such mighty 
adversaries. Policy, interest, and ambition, prompted Charles V 
and Leo X to attempt its destruction. But these are poor cham 
pions against the truth. Devotedness to a cause, which is regard 
ed as sacred, can only be overcome by counter devotedness. Now 
Rome, docile to the impulse of Leo X, was enthusiastic for a son 
net or a melody, but insensible to the religion of Jesus Christ. 
Even when visited with some less frivolous thought, instead of 
purifying herself and returning to the Christianity of the Apostles, 
she became engrossed with alliances, wars, conquests, treaties, un 
der which she might save her provinces, while with cool disdain 
she left the Reformation to revive religious enthusiasm, and move 
forward in triumph to still nobler conquests. The enemy, whose 
destruction had been vowed in the cathedral of Worms, presented 
himself, full of courage and might : the struggle behoved to be keen ; 
blood must flow. 

Meanwhile, some of the most pressing dangers with which the 
Reformation was threatened seemed to diminish. One day, before 
the publication of the edict of Worms, young Charles, when stand 
ing at a window with his confessor, had said, putting his right hand 
upon his heart, " I swear that I will cause the first person, who, after 
the publication of my edict, will declare himself a Lutheran, to be 
hung at this window." 1 But ere long his zeal had become greatly 
cooled. His project of re-establishing the ancient glory of the 
holy empire had been received with coldness. 2 Dissatisfied with 

1 Sanctejuro. . . . eura ex hac fenestra meo jussu suspensum iri. (Pallavi 
cini, i, p. 130.) 2 Essendo tomato dalla Dieta che sua Maesta haveva fatta in 

Wormatia escluso d ogni conclusion buona d ajuti e di favori che si fussi proposto 
d ottenere in essa. (Instruttione al Card. Farnese. M.S. in the Bibl. Corsini, pub 
lished bv Ranke.) 



Germany, he quitted the banks of the Rhine, proceeded to the Low 
Countries, and took advantage of the period of his residence there 
to give the monks some gratifications, which he found himself un 
able to grant them within the empire. Luther s works were burnt 
at Ghent by the hands of the executioner with all possible solem 
nity. More than fifty thousand spectators were present at this 
auto-da-fe, and the emperor himself countenanced it with an ap 
proving smile. 1 He next proceeded to Spain, when wars and 
troubles compelled him, for some time at least, to let Germany 
alone. Since the power which he claims in the empire is refused, let 
others pursue the heretic of Wittemberg. He is engrossed by 
graver cares. 

In fact, Francis I, impatient to come to blows with his rival, 
had thrown down the gauntlet. Under the pretext of reinstating 
the children of John of Albert, king of Navarre, in their patri 
mony, he had begun a long and bloody struggle, which was to last 
as long as his life, by sending into that kingdom, under the com 
mand of Lesparre, an army, whose rapid conquests were not ar 
rested till they arrived before the fortress of Pampeluna. 

On these strong fortifications an enthusiasm was to be kindled, 
which should one day oppose the enthusiasm of the Eeformer, and 
breathe into the papacy a new spirit of energy, devotedness, and 
power. Pampeluna was to be the cradle of the rival of the 
monk of Wittemberg. 

The chivalric spirit which had so long animated the Christian 
world now existed only in Spain. The wars against the Moors 
scarcely ended in the Peninsula and still constantly renewed in 
Africa, distant and adventurous expeditions in foreign lands, kept 
alive in the Castilian youth that enthusiastic and spirited valour 
of which Amadis had been the beau ideal. 

Among the defenders of Pampeluna was a young gentleman 
named Don Inigo Lopez of Recalde, the cadet of a family of thir 
teen children. Brought up at the court of Ferdinand the Catholic, 
Recalde, richly endowed with personal graces, 2 skilful in the use of 
the sword and the lance, was ardent in the pursuit of chivalric re 
nown. To deck himself in glittering armour, to mount a noble 
steed, 3 to expose himself to the brilliant dangers of a tournay, to 
run hazardous adventures, to take part in the impassioned debates 
of factions, 4 and display as much devotion to St. Peter as to his 
mistress such was the life of this young knight. The governor 

1 Ipso Csesare, ore subridenti, spectaculo plausit. (Pallavicini, i, p. 130.) 
3 Cum esset en corporis ornatu elegantissimus. (Maffaei, Vita Loyolae, 1586, p. 8.) 
* Equorumque et armorum usu praecelleret. (Ibid.) * Partim in factionum 

rirarumque periculis, partim inamatoria vesania . . . tempus consumeret, (Ibid.) 
Spent his time partly in the perils of brawls and factious, and partly in amours. 


of Navarre having gone into Spain to ask assistance, had left Pam- 
peluna in the charge of Inigo and a few nobles. The latter, seeing 
the superiority of the French troops, resolved to withdraAv. Inigo 
conjured them to make head against Lesparre. Finding that their 
purpose could not be shaken, he turned upon them with looks of 
indignation, accused them of cowardice and perfidy, and then threw 
himself single handed into the fortress, determined to defend it at 
the cost of his life. 1 

The French, who had met with an enthusiastic reception in Fam- 
peluna, having summoned the governor of the citadel to capitu 
late, " Let us," said the fiery Inigo to his companions, " bear any 
thing sooner than surrender." 2 The French began to batter the 
walls with their powerful engines, and soon after attempted an 
assault. The Spaniards, animated by the courage and words of 
Inigo, repulsed the assailants with their arrows, swords, and hal- 
berts. Inigo fought at their head. Standing on the wall with 
blazing eye, the young knight brandishing his sword, dealt blows 
on the enemy. All at once a bullet struck the wall at the place 
where he was defending; a shivered stone severely wounded the 
knight in his right leg, and the shot, in rebounding, broke his left. 
Inigo fell insensible. 3 The garrison immediately surrendered, and 
the French, filled with admiration at the courage of their young 
opponent, caused him to be earned in a litter to his friends and pa 
rents in the Castle of Loyola. In this seignorial mansion, from which 
he afterwards took his name, Inigo was born, eight years after 
Luther, of one of the most distinguished families in the kingdom. 

A painful operation had become necessary. Amidst the most 
acute sufferings, Inigo clenched his hands, but did not utter a single 
cry. 4 

Constrained to a painful repose, he behoved somehow to em 
ploy his lively fancy. In the absence of romances of chivalry, 
which he had hitherto been accustomed to devour, he was furnish 
ed with the Life of Christ, and the Flowers of the Saints. This 
reading, in his solitary and sickly condition, produced an extraor 
dinary impression on his mind. He thought he saw the noisy life 
of tournaments and battles, which till then had completely engross 
ed his youth, withdrawn, effaced, and extinguished, and, at the 
same time, a more glorious career opened on his astonished sight. 
The humble actions of the saints and their heroic sufferings sud 
denly appeared to him more deserving of praise than all the feats 

1 Ardentibus oculis, detestatus ignaviam perfidiamque, spectantibus omnibus, in 
arcem solus introit. (Maffsei, Vita Loyolse, 1586, p. 6.) 2 Tarn acri ac vehement! 

oratione commilitonibus dissuasit. (Ibid.) Ut e restigio semianimis alienate 

mente cori";erit (Ibid.) * Nullum aliud indicium dedit dolor s, nisi t 

coftctus in pugnum digitos valde constringeret. (Ibid.) 


of chivalry. Stretched on his feverish bed, he gave himself up to 
the most contradictory thoughts. The world which he was aban 
doning, and the other whose holy macerations he was welcoming, ap 
peared to him at the same moment, the one with its pleasures, the 
other with its severities. These two worlds carried on a fierce combat 
in his soul. " What," said he, "if I were to do what St. Francis or 
St. Dominic have done ? " 1 Then the image of the mistress to whom 
he had devoted his heart presenting itself to his imagination, he 
exclaimed with natural vanity, "She is not a countess, she is not a 
duchess ; but she is more." 2 But these thoughts left a feeling of 
bitterness and weariness, whereas his plan of imitating the saints 
filled him with peace and joy. 

From that time his choice was fixed. When scarcely recovered, he 
resolved to bid adieu to the world. After having, like Luther, par 
taken of an entertainment with his companions in arms, he set out 
alone, 3 in the greatest secrecy, for the solitary abodes which the 
hermits of St. Benedict had hewn out in the rock in the mountains 
of Montserrat. Urged on, not by a conviction of his sins or the need 
of divine grace, but by a longing to become the " knight of Mary," 
and gain renown by mortifications and pious works, like all the 
army of the saints, he confessed during three days, gave his rich 
clothing to a beggar, put on sackcloth, and girded himself with a 
cord. 4 Then calling to mind the celebrated vigil of Amadis of 
Gaul, he hung up his sword before an image of Mary, and passed 
the night watching in his new and strange costume. Sometimes on 
his knees, sometimes standing, but always in prayer, and with the 
pilgrim s staff in his hand, he employed himself in all the devout ex 
ercises which Amadis of Gaul had of old performed. " Thus," ob 
serves the Jesuit, Maffei, one of the biographers of the saint, " while 
Satan was arming Martin Luther against all laAvs, human and divine, 
and while this infamous heresiarch was appearing at Worms, and 
there declaring impious war on the apostolic see, Christ, in the 
exercise of his divine providence, was raising up this new cham 
pion, and binding him him, and at a later period, all his followers, 
to the service of the Eoman pontiff, opposing him to the licen 
tiousness and fury of heretical perverseness." 5 

Loyola, still lame in one leg, dragged along through winding 
and desert paths to Maiiresa, and there entered a convent of 

1 Quid si ego hoc agerem quod fecit b. Franciscus, quid si hoc quod b. Dominicus ? 
(Acta Sanct., vii, p. 634.) 2 Non era condessa, ni duquessa, ma era su estado 

mas alto .... (Ibid.) 3 Ibi duce amicisque ita salutatis, ut arcana consiliorum 

suorum quam accuratissime tegeret. (Maf., p. 16.) Then having saluted his com 
mander and friends so as most carefully to hide his secret plans. * Fretiosa 
vestimenta quibus erat ornatus, pannoso cuidam largitus, sacco sese alacer induit ac 
fune praecinxit. (Ibid., p. 20.) 6 Furori ac libidini heretic* pravitatis op- 
poneret. (Ibid., p, 21.) 


Dominicans, that he might devote himself, in this obscure spot, to 
the severest penances. Like Luther, he daily begged his bread 
from door to door. 1 He remained seven hours on his knees, and 
flagellated himself thrice every day ; at midnight he was again at 
prayer. He allowed his hair and nails to grow, and it would have 
been impossible to recognise the young and brilliant knight of Pam- 
peluna in the pale wan monk of Manresa. 

Meanwhile, the moment had arrived, when the religious ideas 
which had hitherto been to Inigo merely a sport of chivalry, 
were to reveal themselves to him with greater seriousness, and 
make him feel a power of which he was still ignorant. Suddenly, 
without any presentiment of what was to happen, the joy which he 
had hitherto experienced disappeared. 2 In vain did he apply to 
prayer and the singing of hymns he could find no rest. 3 His 
imagination had ceased to surround him with amiable illusions : 
he was left alone with his conscience. He could not comprehend 
a state which was so novel to him ; and he asked, in alarm, whe 
ther God, for whom he had made so many sacrifices, was still 
angry with him. Night and day terrors agitated his soul : he 
shed bitter tears, and with loud cries called for the peace which he 
had lost .... but all in vain. 4 He then resumed the long con 
fession which he had made at Montserr^t. "It may be," thought 
he, "I have forgotten something." But the confession only in 
creased his agony, by reminding him of all his faults. He wan 
dered gloomy and depressed : his conscience cried aloud, that dur 
ing his whole life he had done nothing but heaped sin upon sin; 
and the unhappy man, overwhelmed with terror, made the cloister 
echo with his groans. 

Strange thoughts then found admission into his heart. Ex 
periencing no comfort in confession and the various ordinances or 
the Church, 5 he began, like Luther, to doubt their efficacy. 
But, instead of turning aside from human works and applying to 
the all-sufficient work of Christ, he asked if he ought not again 
to pursue worldly glory. His soul darted impetuously towards the 
world from which he had fled ; 6 but he immediately drew back in 

Was there, then, some difference between the monk of Manresa 

1 Victum ostiatim precibus infimis emendicare quotidie. (Maf. p. 23.) 2 Tune 

subito nulla pnecedente significatione prorsus exui nudarique se omni gaudio sen- 
tiret. (Ibid. p. 27. Then, suddenly, without any previous warning, he felt himselr 
divested of all joy. 3 Nee jam in precibus, neque in psalmis. . . . ullam 

inveniret delectationem ant requiem. (Ibid.) Nor could he now find any delight, or 
rest i>i prayers or psalms. 4 Vanis agitari terroribus, dies noctesque fletibus 

jungere (Ibid. p. 28.) He was agitated by vain terrors, weeping night and day. 

5 Ut nulla jam res mitigare dolorem posve videretur. (Ibid. p. 29.) That now 
nothing seemed able to mitigate his pain. 6 Et sseculi commodis repetendismaguo 
quodam impetu cogitaverit. (Ibid. p. 30.) 


and the monk of Erfurth? In secondary features, doubtless, thero 
was, but the state of their souls was the same. Both had a deep 
conviction of the magnitude of their sins. Both sought reconcilia 
tion with God, and wished to have the assurance of it in their 
hearts. Had a Staupitz, with the Bible in his hand, presented 
himself at the convent of Manresa, Inigo might, perhaps, have be 
come the Luther of the Peninsula. These two great men of the 
sixteenth century these two founders of the two spiritual powers, 
which, for three hundred years, have been waning with each other, 
were at this time brethren; and, perhaps, had they met, Luther 
and Loyola would have fallen into each other s arms, and mingled 
their tears and their vows. 

But these two monks were, from this moment, to follow very 
different paths. 

Inigo, instead of perceiving that his remorse was sent to urge 
him to the foot of the cross, persuaded himself that these internal 
upbraidings came not from God, but from the devil ; and adopted 
the resolution of thinking no more of his sins, of effacing them, 
and consigning them to eternal oblivion. 1 Luther turned toward 
Christ, Loyola only fell back upon himself. 

Inigo was shortly after confirmed in the conclusion at which he 
had arrived, by visions. His own resolutions had been substituted 
for the grace of Christ, and his own imagination for the Word of 
Christ. The voice of God, in his conscience, he had regarded as 
the voice of a demon ; and, accordingly, his future history exhibits 
him as given up to the inspirations of the spirit of darkness. 

One day Loyola met an old woman, just as Luther, in the time 
of his agony, had been visited by an old man. But the Spanish 
female, instead of telling the penitent of Manresa of the remission 
of sins, foretold him of apparitions of Jesus. Such was the Chris 
tianity to which Loyola, like the prophets of Zwickau, had recourse. 
Inigo did not seek the truth in the Holy Scriptures, but in their 
stead imagined immediate communications from the kingdom of 
spirits. His life soon consisted only of extacies and contempla 

One day, while going to the church of St. Paul, which is situated 
outside the town, plunged in meditation, he followed the banks of 
the Llobregat. At last he sat down. His eyes were fixed on the 
river, which was slowly rolling its deep waters at his feet, and he 
became completely absorbed in meditation. Suddenly he was 
seized with extacy: he saw, with his eyes, what men scarcely 

1 Sine ulla dubitatione constituit prseteritse vttce labes perpetua oblivione conterere, 
(Maf. p- 31.) He unhesitatingly resolved to bury the pollutions of his past life in per. 
petual oblivion. 


comprehend, after much reading, watching, and labour. 1 He rose 
up, stood on the brink of the river, and seemed to himself to be 
come a new man : he afterwards put himself upon his knees before 
a cross, which happened to be in the neighbourhood, disposed to 
sacrifice his life in the cause, the mysteries of which had just been 
revealed to him. 

From that time his visions became more frequent. One day, 
while seated on the stair of St. Dominic, at Manresa,. he was sing 
ing hymns to the Holy Virgin. Suddenly his soul was seized with 
extacy ; he remained motionless, absorbed in contemplation ; the 
mystery of the Holy Trinity was revealed to his eyes under mag 
nificent symbols. 2 Pie shed tears, sobbed aloud; and during the 
whole day ceased not to speak of the ineffable vision. 

These numerous apparitions had dissipated all his doubts. Un 
like Luther, he believed, not because the things of faith were written 
in the Word of God, but in consequence of the visions which he had 
seen. " Even though there had been no Bible," say his apologists, 
" even had these mysteries never been revealed in Scripture, 3 he 
would have believed them, for God had been unveiled to him." * 
Luther, on receiving his degree of doctor, had taken an oath to the 
Holy Scriptures, and the authority of the Word of God, the only 
infallible authority, had become the fundamental principle of the 
Reformation. Loyola took his oath to dreams and visions ; and 
fantastical apparitions became the principle of his life and of his 

The residence of Luther in the convent of Erfurth, and that of 
Loyola in the convent of Manresa, explain to us respectively the 
Reformation and the modern papacy. We shall not follow the monk 
who was to re-animate the exhausted powers of Rome to Jerusa 
lem, whither he repaired on quitting the cloister. We shall meet 
with him again in the course of this history. 


Tictory of the Pop& Death of Leo X Oratory of Divine Love Adrian VI Schemes 
of Reform Opposition. 

While these things were passing in Spain, Rome herself seemed 
to assume a more serious character. The great patron of music, 

1 Quse vix demum solent homines intelligent comprehendere. (Maf. p. 32.) 
3 En figuras de tres teclas. 3 Q uod etsi nu ] la scr iptura, mysteria ilia fidei 

doceret. (Acta Sancta.) For, were there no scripture, he would teach these mysteries 
of faith. * Quae Deo sibi aperiente cognoverat. (Maf. p. 34.) 


hunting, and festivity disappeared from the pontifical throne to 
give place to a grave and pious monk. 

Leo X had felt great delight on hearing of the edict of Worms, 
and the captivity of Luther, and forthwith, as a token of his 
victory, had caused the effigy and writings of the Reformer to be 
given to the flames. 1 This was the second or third time that the 
papacy had enjoyed this pleasure. At this time, Leo, wishing to 
testify his gratitude to Charles Y, united his army to that of the 
emperor. The French \vere obliged to quit Parma, Placenza, 
and Milan, which latter town was entered by a cousin of the pope, 
Cardinal Giulio de Medici. The pope was thus mounting to the 
pinnacle of power. 

This was at the beginning of the winter of 1521. Leo X was 
accustomed to pass the autumn in the country, and at this time 
left Kome without his surplice, and, what, says his master of the 
ceremonies, was still more scandalous, in boots. He had hawking 
at Yiterbo, and stag-hunting at Corneto, enjoyed the sport of fish 
ing in the lake of Bolsena, and then went to pass some time in the 
midst of festivities at Malliana, his favourite residence. Musicians, 
improvisator!, all artists whose talents could enliven this delicious 
villa surrounded the sovereign pontiif. He was here at the 
time when news reached him of the taking of Milan. The 
whole villa was immediately astir. The courtiers and officials 
could not restrain their joy. The Swiss fired feux dejoie, and Leo, 
in transport, walked up and down his room the whole night, often 
looking out of his window at the rejoicings of the Swiss and the 
people. He returned to Rome, fatigued, but intoxicated with de 
light. Scarcely had he returned to the Yatican when he was sud 
denly taken ill. " Pray for me," said he to his servants. He had 
not even time to receive the holy sacrament, and died in the vigour 
of life (forty- seven), in the hour of triumph, and amid the noise of 

The people, while accompanying the hearse of the sovereign 
pontiff, gave utterance to invectives. They could not forgive his 
having died without the sacraments, and left debts consequent on 
his great expenditure. "Thou didst rise to the pontificate as a 
fox," said the Romans, " there thQu playedst the lion, and now 
thou art gone like a dog." 

Such was the mourning with which Rome honoured the pope 
who excommunicated the Reformation, and whose name serves to 
mark one of the great epochs in history. 

1 Comburi jussit alteram rultus in ejus statua, alteram animi ejus in libris. (Pal- 
lavicini, i, p. 128.) He caused two images to be burned, the one of his person in his 
effigy, the other of his mind in his books. 


Meanwhile a feeble re -act ion against the spirit of Leo and Rome 
had already begun in Rome herself. Some pious individuals had 
there founded an oratory for their common edification, 1 near the 
place where tradition bears that the meetings of the primitive 
Christians were held. Contarini, who had heard Luther at Worms, 
took the lead among these priests. In this way a species of Refor 
mation began at Rome almost at the same time as at Wittemberg. 
It has been truly said that wherever there are germs of piety, there 
are also germs of reform. But these good intentions were soon to 
be dissipated. 

At other times the choice of a successor to Leo X would have 
fallen on a Gregory VII, or an Innocent III, if they could have been 
found, but the interest of the empire now took precedence of that 
of the Church, and Charles V behoved to have a pope who was de 
voted to himself. The Cardinal de Medici, afterwards pope under 
the name of Clement VII, seeing that he could not yet obtain the 
tiara, exclaimed, " Take the Cardinal of Tortosa, who is old and 
universally regarded as a saint." This prelate, born at Utrecht, 
of burgher parentage, was, in fact, elected, and reigned under the 
name of Adrian VI. He had formerly been a professor at Louvain, 
and afterwards became preceptor to Charles, by whose influence, as 
emperor, he was, in 1517, invested with the Roman purple. The 
Cardinal de Vio seconded the proposal. " Adrian," said he, " had, 
through the doctors of Louvain, a great share in Luther s con 
demnation." 2 The cardinals, worn out and off their guard, ap 
pointed this stranger; but shortly on recovering themselves, " they 
were," says a chronicler, " as it were dead with amazement." The 
idea that the rigid Netherlander w ould not accept the tiara, at first, 
somewhat solaced them ; but this was of short duration. Pasquin 
caricatured the pontiff elect under the figure of a schoolmaster, and 
the cardinals under that of boys whom he was chastising. The popu 
lace were so enraged that the members of the conclave were happy 
to escape without being thrown into the river. 3 In Holland, on the 
contrary, there were great rejoicings at having given a pope to 
the Church. "Utrecht planted Louvain watered the emperor 
has given the increase," was displayed on tapestry hung in front 
of the houses. Some one wrote beneath, " And God did nothing 
at all in the matter ! " 

Notwithstanding the dissatisfaction originally expressed by the 
people of Rome, Adrian VI repaired thither in August, 1522, and 

1 Si unirono in un oratorio, chiamato del divino amore, circa sessanta di loro 
(Carr.cciolo Vita da Paolo IV, MS., Ranke.) About sixty of them formed an oratory, 
narred the Oratory of Divine Love. 2 Doctores Lovanienses accepisse consilium 

a t;im conspisuo alumno. (rallavicini.p. UK.) Thatthe doctors of Louvain had been 
ro ii selled by th. ir distim wished Sleidan. Hist of the Kef., i, p. 1?4. 

1 08 ADRIAN VI. 

was well received. It was said, that he had more than five thousand 
benefices at his disposal, and every one counted on obtaining a 
share. For long the papal throne had not been occupied by such 
a pontiff. Just, active, learned, pious, simple, of irreproachable 
manners, he did not allow himself to be blinded either by favour 
or anger. He arrived at the Vatican with his old housekeeper, 
whom he charged to continue to provide for his modest wants in 
the magnificent palace which Leo had filled with luxury and dis 
sipation. He had none of the tastes of his predecessor. When 
shown the magnificent statue of the Laocoon, which had been dis 
covered a few years before, and purchased, for a large sum, by 
Julius II, he turned away coldly, saying, " these are pagan idols." 
"I would far rather," he wrote, " serve God as provost of Lou- 
vain, than as pope of Rome." 

Adrian, struck with the danger with which the Reformation 
menaced the religion of the middle ages, and not, like the Italians, 
with those to which it exposed Rome and its hierarchy, was sin 
cerely desirous to combat and arrest it ; and it seemed to him that 
the best method of succeeding was, a reform of the Church pro 
duced by the Church herself. " The Church," said he, " is in need 
of a reform, but we must proceed in it step by step." " The 
opinion of the pope," says Luther, "is, that between two steps 
there must be an interval of several ages." In fact, there were 
ages when the Church was moving towards a Reformation. It 
was no longer time to temporise, it was necessary to act. 

Adrian, faithful to his plan, was engaged in clearing the city of 
the profane, of forgers, and usurers. The task was not easy ; 
for they formed a considerable part of the population. 

At first the Romans jeered at him, but shortly they hated him. 
Sacerdotal ascendancy, and the immense profits which it produced 
the might of Rome the sports, luxury, and festivities which 
abounded in it, would all be irrecoverably lost by a return to apos 
tolic manners. 

In particular, the restoration of discipline encountered energetic 
opposition. "To succeed in it," said the grand Penitentiary, 
(a cardinal,) " it would first be necessary to bring back Chris 
tian fervour. The cure is too much for the strength of the patient, 
and will be his death. Have a care that, in trying to preserve 
Germany, you do not lose Italy." * In fact, Adrian had soon 
much more to dread from Romanism than from Lutheranism. 

Attempts were made to bring him back to the path which he 
was desirous to quit. The old and wily Cardinal Soderino de 
Volterra, an intimate friend of Alexander VI, Julius II, and 

* Sarpi Hist, of the Coun. of Trent, p. 20. 


Leo X, 1 often expressed himself to honest Adrian in terms fitted 
to acquaint him with the part, to him so novel, which he was 
called to perform. " The heretics," said he to him one day, " have 
at all times spoken of the corrupt manners of the court of Rome ; 
notwithstanding, the popes have never changed them." On an 
other occasion he said, " Hitherto it has not been by reforms that 
heresies have been extinguished, but by crusades." "Ah," replied 
the pontiff, with a deep sigh, " how unfortunate the condition of 
the popes, since they have not even the liberty of doing good." 2 

CHAP, m 

Diet of Nuremberg Invasion of Solyman Tho Nuncio demands the Death of Luther 
The Preachers of Nuremberg Promise of Reform National Grievances Deere* 
of the Diet Thundering Letter of the Pope Luther s Advice. 

On the 23rd March, 1522, before Adrian s arrival at Rome, the 
Diet had assembled at Nuremberg. Previous to this, the Bishops 
of Mersburg and Misnia had asked permission from the Elector of 
Saxony to make a visitation of the convents and churches in his 
states. Frederick, thinking that the truth should be strong enough 
to resist error, had given a favourable answer. The visitation took 
place. The bishops and their doctors preached fiercely against 
reform. They exhorted, threatened, supplicated : but their argu 
ments seemed without force, and, when wishing to recur to more 
efficacious weapons, they asked the secular arm to execute their de 
crees, the Elector s ministers replied, that the affair required to 
be examined by the Bible, and that the Elector could not, at his 
advanced age, sit down to the study of theology. These efforts of 
the bishops did not bring back a single soul to the fold of Rome ; 
and Luther who, a short time after, travelled over these countries 
and made his powerful eloquence be heard, effaced any feeble im 
pressions which they had produced. 

There was reason to fear that Archduke Ferdinand, the emperor s 
brother, would do what Frederick had refused. This young prince, 
who presided at part of the sittings of the Diet, gradually assuming 
more resolution, might, in his zeal, rashly draw the sword which his 
more prudent and politic brother wisely left in its sheath. In 
fact, Ferdinand had commenced a cruel persecution of the partisans 
of the Reformation in his hereditary states of Austria. But for 
the deliverance of reviving Christianity, God repeatedly employed 
the same instrument which he had used in destroying corrupted 

1 Per lunga esperienza delle cose del mundo, molto prudente e accorto. (Nardi. 
Hist. rior.. lib. 7.) * Sarpi, p. 21. 


Christianity. The crescent appeared in the terrified provinces of 
Hungary. On the 9th of August, after a siege of six weeks, Bel 
grade, the bulwark of that kingdom and of the empire, yielded to 
the assaults of Solyman. The followers of Mahomet, after their 
evacuation of Spain, seemed desirous to re-enter Europe by the 
East. The Diet of Nuremberg forgot the monk of Worms to think 
only of the Luther of Constantinople. But Charles V kept both 
adversaries in his view. Writing the pope from Valladolid on the 
31st October, he said, " It is necessary to arrest the Turks and 
punish the partisans of the poisonous doctrines of Luther with the 
sword." * 

The storm which seemed to have turned away from the Refor 
mation, and proceeded toward the East, gathered anew over the 
head of the Reformer. His return to Wittemberg, and the zeal 
which he then displayed, had awakened the old hatred. "Now 
that we know where to take him," said Duke George, " let the 
decree of Worms be carried into execution!" It was even confi 
dently affirmed in Germany that both the emperor and Adrian 
would appear together at Nuremberg to advise this. 2 "Satan feels 
the wound which he has received," said Luther, " and, therefore, 
puts himself into all this rage. But Christ has already stretched forth 
his hand, and will trample him under his feet in spite of the gates 
of hell." 3 

In December, 1522, the Diet again assembled at Nuremberg. 
Every thing appeared to announce that, if Solyman was the great 
enemy who engrossed the attention of the Spring Session, Luther 
would be the engrossing one of the Winter Session. Adrian VI, 
being of German origin, flattered himself his countrymen would 
give him a more favourable reception than a pope of Italian origin 
could hope for. 4 He accordingly charged Chieregati, whom he 
had known in Spain, to repair to Nuremberg. 

No sooner was the Diet met than several princes made violent 
speeches against Luther. The Cardinal Archbishop of Salzburg, 
who was in the full confidence of the emperor, was desirous that 
prompt and decisive measures should be taken before the arrival of 
the Elector of Saxony. The Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, 
always resolute in his course, and the Chancellor of Treves, were 
equally pressing for the execution of the edict of Worms. The 
other princes were in a great measure undecided and divided in 
opinion. The state of turmoil in which th Church was placed, 

1 Dassman die Nachfolger derselben vergiften Lehre,mit dem Schwcrt strafen mag. 
(L. Op. xvii, p. 321.) 2 Cum fatna sit fortis et Csesarem et Papam Nurnbergam 

convcnturos. (L. Ep. ii, p. 214.) 3 Sed Christus qui coepit conte eteum. (Ibid, 

p. 216.) * Quod ex ea regione venirent, unde nobis secundum camera origo est 

(Papal Brief, (L.) Op. L. ii, p. 852.) 


filled her most faithful servants with anguish. The Bishop of 
Strasburg broke out in full Diet with the exclamation, " I would 
give one of my ten fingers not to be a priest." 1 

Chieregati, in unison with the Archbishop of Salzburg, demanded 
the death of Luther. " It is necessary," said he, on the part of the 
pope, and with a papal brief in his hands, "it is necessary to am 
putate this gangrened limb from the body. 2 Your fathers at Con 
stance put to death John Huss and Jerome of Prague ; but they 
revive in Luther. Follow the glorious example of your ancestors, 
and, with the assistance of God and St. Peter, carry off a magni 
ficent victoiy over the infernal dragon." 

On hearing the brief of the pious and moderate Adrian, the 
most of the princes were seized with terror. 2 Several were beginning 
to have a better understanding of the arguments of Luther, and had 
hoped other things of the pope. So then, Rome, under an Adrian, 
refuses to acknowledge her faults : she is still preparing her thunder, 
and the Germanic provinces are to be covered with desolation and 
blood. While the princes kept a mournful silence, the prelates and 
the members of the Diet were in an uproar. " Let him be put to 
death," 3 exclaimed they, within hearing of the envoy of Saxony, 
who was present at the sitting. 

Very different expressions were heard in the churches of Nurem 
berg. Crowds flocked into the chapel of the Hospital and the 
churches of the Augustins, St. Sibbald and St. Laurence, to the 
preaching of the gospel. Andrew Osiander preached powerfully in 
the latter church. Several princes, and, in particular, Albert, Mar 
grave of Brandenburg, who, in his quality of Grand Master of the 
Teutonic Order, took rank immediately after the archbishop, was a 
frequent attendant. Monks quitting the convents of the town, 
learned trades, in order to gain a livelihood by their own hands. 

Chieregati could not tolerate this boldness. He demanded that 
the rebellious priests and monks should be cast into prison. The 
Diet, notwithstanding strong opposition from the envoys of the 
Elector of Saxony and the Margrave Casimir, resolved to order 
the apprehension of the monks, but agreed previously to com 
municate the nuncio s complaints to Osiander and his colleagues. 
A committee, with the fanatical Cardinal Salzburg for its presi 
dent, was entrusted with the execution of it. The danger was 
imminent : the struggle was on the eve of commencing ; and it 
was with the National Council that it was to commence. 

However, the citizens prevented it. While the Diet was de- 

i Er Wollte einen Finger drum geben. (Seek., p. 568.) 2 Resecandos ut< 

membra jam putrida a sano corpore. (Pallav., i, 158.) 3 Einen grossen Schrecken 
eingejagt. (Seek., p. 552.) *Nicht anders geschrien dean: Crueifige! Cruoifige! 
(L. Op. xvB, 36 7 .) 


liberating as to what should be done in regard to their ministeis, 
the town council was deliberating as to what should be done in re 
gard to the resolution of the Diet. The decision was, that, if it was 
attempted, by the strong hand, to carry off the ministers of the 
town, they would with the strong hand set them at liberty. Such 
a resolution was significant. The Diet, in astonishment, intimated 
to the nuncio that it was contrary to law to apprehend the minis 
ters of the free town of Nuremberg without having convicted them 
of heresy. 

Chieregati was deeply moved at this new aflront to the omnipo 
tence of the pope. " Very well," said he proudly to Ferdinand, 
" do nothing but leave me to act. I will seize these heretical 
preachers in the pope s name." x No sooner had the Cardinal 
Archbishop of Mente, and the Margrave Casimir been apprised 
of this strange resolution than they repaired in haste to the legate, 
and implored him to abandon it. The nuncio showed himself in 
flexible, declaring that within the bosom of Christendom the pope 
must be obeyed. The two princes took leave of the legate, saying, 
" If you persist in your design, we call upon you to give us intima 
tion ; for we will quit the town before you have proceeded to lay 
hands on these preachers." 2 The legate abandoned his project. 

Having no longer any hope of succeeding in the way of authority, 
he resolved to have recourse to other expedients, and with this 
view communicated to the Diet the intentions and injunctions of 
the pontiff, which he had hitherto concealed. 

But honest Adrian, who was a stranger to the world, by his very 
frankness injured the cause which he had so much at heart. " We 
know well," said he, in the resolutions transmitted to his legate, 
"that for several years many abuses and abominations have 
existed in the holy city. 3 The contagion has spread from the 
head into the members ; it has descended from the popes to the 
other ecclesiastics. We desire the reformation of this Roman court 
whence proceed so many evils ; the whole world desires it, and it 
was with a view to its accomplishment that we were resigned to 
mount the pontifical throne." 

The partisans of Rome blushed for shame when they heard these 
strange words. Like Pallavicini, they thought the confession too 
frank. 4 On the contrary, the friends of the Reformation rejoiced 

1 Sese auctoritate pontifica cui-aturum ut isti caperentur. (Corp. Ref., i, p. 606.) 

2 Priusquam illi caperentur, se urbe cessuros esse. (Ibid.) s In earn sedem 
aliquot jam annos quasdam vitia irrepsisse, abusus in rebus sacris, in legibus viola- 
tiones, in cunctis denique perversionem. (Pallav., i, p. 160.) That far several years 
past certain vices had crept hv.o that see abuses in sacred matters, violations of law, 
and perversion in every thing. (See also Sarpi, p. 25. L. Op. xviii, p. 329, etc.) 

* Liberioris tamen quam par erat, sinceritatis fuisse visum est, ea conventui pat- 
facere. (Ibid., p. 162.) 


on hearing Rome proclaiming her cormption. There was no longer 
any doubt that Luther was right since the pope himself declared it. 
The reply of the Diet showed how much the authority of the 
sovereign pontiff had fallen in the empire. The spirit of Luther 
seemed to have passed into the hearts of the representatives of the 
nation. The moment was favourable, Adrian s ear was open ; the 
emperor was absent ; the Diet resolved to collect into one body all 
the grievances which Germany complained of against Rome, and 
dispatch them to the pope. 

The legate, alarmed at this determination, supplicated and 
menaced by turns, but in vain. The secular estates were decided, 
and the ecclesiastical offered no opposition. Eighty-four griev 
ances were specified. The abuses and stratagems of the Roman 
court in making extortions on Germany, the scandals and pro 
fanations of the clergy, the irregularities and simony of the ecclesi 
astical tribunals, the encroachment on the secular power in enslaving 
consciences, were exposed with equal frankness and force. The 
states hinted that human traditions were the source of alt this cor 
ruption. They concluded thus: " If these grievances are not re 
dressed within a limited time, we will consider other means of 
escaping from all this oppression and suffering." 6 Chieregati, fore 
seeing the fearful detail into which the Diet would enter, quitted 
Nuremberg in haste, that he might not be the bearer of so dis 
agreeable and insolent a message. 

Still, was there not room to apprehend that the Diet might be 
willing to compensate for "their boldness by sacrificing Luther? 
It was thought so at first ; but a spirit of truth and justice had 
fallen on this assembly. They, like Luther, demanded that a 
free council should be convened in the empire, and added, that 
until it took place the pure gospel only should be preached, and 
nothing should be printed without the approbation of certain indi 
viduals of character and learning. 2 These resolutions enable us 
to apprehend the immense progress which the Reformation had 
made since the Diet of Worms ; and yet the Saxon envoy, the 
Chevalier von Feilitsch protested solemnly against any censure 
which the Diet might pronounce, how moderate soever the terms 
might be. The decision of the Diet was regarded as a first victory 
gained by the Reformation, and was to be succeeded by others 
still more decisive. Even the Swiss, in their mountains, thrilled 
with joy. " The Roman pontiff is vanquished in Germany," said 
Zuinglius: " all that remains is to wrest his arms from him. This 

1 Wie sie solcher Beschwer ir^und Drangsaal entladenwerden. (L.Op.xviii, p. 354 ) 
Ut pieplacideque purum Evangelium praedicaretur. (Pallav., i, p. 166.) Tha t the 
pure gospel should be wisely and quietly preached, (See also Sleidan, i, p. 135.) 



is the battle we have now to wage, and it will be the fiercest ; but 
we have Christ as witness of the combat." l Luther declared aloud 
that God had inspired the edict of the princes. 2 

There was great wrath in the Vatican among the ministers of 
the papacy. What! it is not enough to have a pope who disap 
points all the hopes of the Eomans, and in whose palace there is 
neither music nor play; must secular princes, moreover, hold a 
language which Eome detests, and refuse the death of the heretic 
of Wittemberg ! 

Adrian himself was very indignant at the proceedings in Ger 
many. It was on the Elector of Saxony he discharged his anger. 
Never, perhaps, did Borne sound an alarm more energetic, sincere, 
and even more impressive. 

" We have waited long, perhaps too long," said the pious Adrian, 
in the brief which he addressed to the Elector, " we were desirous 
to see if God would not be pleased to visit your soul, and enable 
you at last to escape from the snares of Satan. But where we 
hoped to gather grapes, we have gathered only sour grapes. The 
spirit has blown in vain. Your iniquities have not melted away. 
Open your eyes then, and see the greatness of your fall ! 

" If the unity of the Church has been broken, if the simple have 
been turned aside from the faith which they had sucked at the 
breasts of their mother, if the churches are deserted, if the people 
are without priests, and the priests no longer receive the honoui 
which is due to them, if Christians are without Christ to whom 
do we owe it, if not to yourself? 3 . ; . If Christian peace has 
fled the earth, if the world is full of discord, rebellion, robbery, 
assassination, conflagration, if the cry of war resounds from 
east to west, if a universal battle is preparing, you, still you are 
the cause ! 

" Do you not see that sacrilegious man (Luther), tearing to 
pieces the images of the saints, and even the sacred cross of Jesus 
Christ, with his guilty hands, and trampling them under his im 
pure feet ? .... Do you not see him, in his impious wrath, 
stirring up the laity to wash their hands in the blood of the priests, 
and throw down the churches of the Lord ? 

" What matters it, though the priests whom he attacks be bad 
priests ? Has not the Lord said, Do what they say, and not what 
they do, thus pointing at the honour which is due to them, even 
when their conduct is culpable. 4 

1 Victus est ac ferme profligatus e Germania romanus pontifex. (Zw. Ep. 313, llth 
Oct., 1523.) The Roman pontiff was almost conquered and driven from Germany. 

2 Gott habe solches E. G. eingeben. (L. Op. xviii, 476.) 8 Dass die Kirchen 
ohne Volk sind, dass die Volker ohne Priester sind, dass die Priester oh vie Ehre sind, 
und dass die Christen oh vie Christo sind. (Ibid. p. 371.) * Wenn sie gleich eines 
verdammten Lebens sind. (Ibid. p. 379.) 


" Rebellious apostate, he is not ashamed to defile the vessels 
consecrated to the Lord; he plucks from their sanctuaries the holy 
virgins consecrated to Christ, and gives them to the devil; he 
takes the priests of the Lord and gives them up to infamous prosti 
tutes .... Frightful profanation, at which the pagans even 
would have been horrified, had they seen it in the pontiffs of their 
idols ! " 

" Of what punishment, of what suffering, think you, then, we 
shall deem you worthy ? . . . . Take pity on yourself, take 
pity on your miserable Saxons ; for if you are not speedily con 
verted, God will cause his vengeance to descend upon you. 

" In the name of God Almighty and of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
whose representative on the earth I am, I declare to you, that you 
will be punished in this world, and plunged into the eternal fire in 
that which is to come. Repent and be converted ! . . . Two 
swords are suspended over your head, the sword of the empire, and 
the sword of the popedom " 

The pious Frederick trembled on reading this menacing brief. 
A short time before he had written to the Emperor to say, that 
old age and sickness rendered him incapable of occupying himself 
with these affairs ; and the reply given to him was the most arro 
gant letter that ever a sovereign prince had received. Weakened 
by age, he cast his eyes on that sword which he had earned to the 
holy sepulchre in the days of his strength. He began to think 
it might be necessary to unsheath it in defence of the consciences 
of his subjects, and that already on the brink of the grave, he 
would not be able to go down to it in peace. He immediately 
wrote to Wittemberg for the ad rice of the fathers of the Refor 

There, also, troubles and persecutions were foreseen. " What 
shall I say," exclaimed the mild Melancthon, "to what side 
shall I turn ? We are overwhelmed with hatred, and the world 
is transported with rage against us." * Luther, Linck, Melancthon, 
Bugenhagen, and Amsdorff, consulted together, as to the answer to 
be returned to the Elector. They all proposed nearly the same 
answer. Their opinion is very striking. 

" No prince," said they, " can undertake a war without the con- 
sent of the people from whose hands he received the government. 2 
Now, the people have no wish to fight for the gospel, for they do 
not believe it. Let the princes, then, not take up arms ; they are 
princes of the nations, in other words, of unbelievers." Thus it 

* Quid clicam ? quo mevertam? (Oorp. Ref. i, p. 627.) 2 Prfncipi nullura 

licet suscipere bellum, nisi consentiente populo, a quo accepit imperium. (Ibid. p. 


was the impetuous Luther who asked sage Frederick to put up the 
sword into its sheath. He could not give a better answer to the 
charge brought against him by the pope, of stirring up the laity to 
wash their hands in the blood of the clergy. Few characters hare 
been less understood than his. This opinion is dated the 8th Feb 
ruary, 1523. Frederick restrained himself. 

The wrath of the pope soon bore its proper fruits. The princes 
who had expounded their grievances against Home, frightened at 
their boldness, sought to appease him by compliance. Several be 
sides declared that victory must remain with the pontiff of Rome, 
as he appeared to be the stronger. " In our day," said Luther, 
" princes content themselves with saying, three times three mak.3 
nine, or twice seven make fourteen: the account is correct 
the affair will succeed. Then our Lord God rises up and says 
4 For how much, tnen, do you count me? ... For a cipher, per 
haps ? Then he turns their calculations upside down, and their 
accounts prove erroneous." 


Persecution Efforts of Duke George The Convent of Antwerp Miltenberg The 
three Monks of AntwerpThe Scaffold Martyrdom at Brussels. 

The flame breathed forth by the humble and meek Adrian 
kindled the conflagration. His remonstrance caused an immense 
sensation throughout Christendom. Persecution, which had for 
some time been arrested, again commenced. Luther trembled for 
Germany, and strove to lay the storm. " If the princes," said he, 
" set themselves in opposition to the truth, the result will be a 
tumult, which will destroy princes, magistrates, priests, and people. 
I tremble at the thought of soon seeing all Germany swim in 
blood. 2 Let us interpose as a wall and preserve our people from 
the Lord s anger. The people are no longer what they have been 
hitherto. 3 The sword of civil war is suspended over the heads of 
kings. They wish to destroy Luther, but Luther wishes to save 
them. Christ lives and reigns : I shall live and reign with him." 4 

These words were without effect : Eome was hastening on to 
wards scaffolds and blood. The Reformation, like Jesus Christ, 
had not come to bring peace, but a sword. For the purposes of 
God, persecution was necessary. As objects are hardened by fire, 

1 So kehrt er ihnen auch die Rechnung gar um. (L. Op. xxii, 1831.) 

2 tit videar mihi videre Germaniam in sanguine natare. (L. Ep. ii, p. 156.) 

* Cogitent populos non esse tales modo, quales hacterms fuerunt. (Ibid. p. 157.) 

* Christus meus vivit ?t regnat, et ego vivam et re^nabj. (Ibid. #. 15S.J 


to protect them from the influence of the atmosphere, so a trial by 
fire was to secure evangelical truth against the influence of the 
world. But this fire did more : it served, as in the early days of 
Christianity, to kindle an universal enthusiasm for the cause so 
virulently persecuted. There is in man, when he begins to know 
the truth, a holy indignation against injustice and violence. An 
instinctive feeling, which comes from God, urges him to take part 
with the oppressed, and, at the same time, the constancy of martyrs 
raises and captivates him, and hurries him on towards the saving 
doctrine which gives so much courage and so much peace. 

Duke George headed the persecution. But he deemed it a small 
matter to employ it in his own states. He wished, above all, to 
see its ravages in electoral Saxony the focus of heresy and he 
did every thing to shake the Elector Frederick, and Duke John. 
Writing them from Nuremberg, he says, "Merchants just come 
from Saxony relate, with regard to it, things which are strange 
and contrary to the honour of God and the saints : the sacrament 
of the supper is there received with the hand. The bread and wine 
are consecrated in the vulgar tongue-, the blood of Christ is put in 
ordinary vessels ; and, at Eulenberg, to insult the priest, a man 
even entered the church mounted on an ass ! .... What is the 
consequence ? The minerals with which God had enriched Saxony 
begin to be exhausted since the innovating preachings of Luther. 
Oh ! would to God that those who boast of having raised up the 
gospel in the electorate had rather earned it to Constantinople. 
Luther has a soft and pleasant voice, but a venomous tail, which 
stings like that of the scorpion. Let us prepare for the battle. 
Let us throw these apostate monks and profane priests into chains 
and that without delay : for our remaining locks as well as beards 
grow white, arid remind us that we have only a few days for action." 1 

Thus wrote Duke George to the Elector, who replied firmly and 
mildly, that whosoever should do a criminal act within his States 
should not escape condign punishment ; but that matters of con 
science must be left to God. 2 

George not being able to persuade Frederick, hastened, in his 
own neighbourhood, to give proof of his severity against the cause 
which he hated. He imprisoned the monks and priests who ad 
hered to Luther. He ordered back the students belonging to his 
states who were studying at the universities tainted with the Re 
formation, and he ordered all New Testaments in the vulgar tongue 
to be delivered up to the magistrates. The same course was fol 
lowed in Austria, Wurtemberg, and the Duchy of Brunswick. 

1 Wie ihre Bart und Ha a re ausweisen. (Seek., p. 48i .) 2 Miisae man solclie 

Dinge Gott iiberlassen. (Ibid. 485.) 


But it was in the Low Countries which were under the immedi 
ate authority of Charles V, that the persecution burst forth with 
greatest fury. The Augustin convent at Antwerp was full of monks 
who had received the truth of the gospel. Several of the friars 
had resided some time at Wittemberg, and from 1519 preached sal 
vation by grace in their church, with great energy. The prior, 
James Probst, who was of a fiery temperament, and Melchior 
Mirisch, who was, on the other hand, distinguished for ability and 
prudence, were arrested and carried to Brussels, about the end ol 

1521. Probst, surprised and terrified, recanted. Melchior Mirisch 
found means of softening his judges, and escaped both condemna 
tion and recantation. 

These persecutions did not intimidate the monks who were left in 
the convent of Antwerp. They continued vigorously to preach the 
gospel. The people flocked to hear them, and the church of the Au- 
gustins proved too small, as that of Wittemberg had done. In October, 

1522, the storm which was gathering over their heads burst : the 
convent was shut up, and the monks were imprisoned and condemn 
ed to death. 1 Some made their escape. Some females, forgetting 
the timidity of their sex, rescued one of them, Henry of Zuphten, 
from his executioners. 2 Three young monks, Henry Voes, John 
Esch, and Lambert Thorn, for some time eluded the search of the 
inquisitors. All the vessels of the- convent were sold, the building 
was barricaded, and the holy sacrament removed from it as from 
a place become infamous. Margaret, the regent of the Low 
Countries, received it solemnly into the church of the holy Virgin. 3 
Orders were given, that this heretical monastery should be razed 
to its foundations ; and several citizens and females who had re 
ceived the gospel with joy were cast into prison. 4 

Luther was much grieved on learning these tidings. " The cause 
which we defend," said he, " is no longer a simple game: it wishes 
blood : it demands life. 5 

The fates of Mirisch and Probst were to be very different. The 
prudent Mirisch soon became the docile servant of Rome, and the 
executioner of the imperial decrees against the adherents of the Re 
formation. 6 On the contrary, Probst, who had escaped from the 
inquisitors, bewailed his fault, withdrew his recantation, and, at 
Bruges in Flanders, boldly preached the doctrine which he had ab 
jured. Arrested anew and imprisoned at Brussels, his death seemed 
inevitable. 7 A franciscan, moved with pity, aided his escape, and 
Probst " saved by a miracle of God," says Luther, arrived at 

1 Zum Tode verurtheilet. (Seek., p. 548.) 2 Quomodo mulieres vi Henricum 

liberarint. (L. Ep. ii, p. 265.) s Susceptum honorifice a domina Margareta. 

(Ibid.) * Gives aliquos, et mulieres vexatae et punitse. (Ibid.) 6 Et 

vitam exiget et sanguinem. (Ibid. p. 181.) 6 Est executor Csesaris contra nos- 

tros. (Ibid. p. 207. 7 Domo captum, exustum credimus. (Ibid. p. 214.) 


Wittemberg, where his double deliverance filled the hearts of the 
friends of the Eeformation with joy. 1 

The Romish priests were every where in arms. The town of 
Miltenberg on the Maine, belonging to the Elector- Archbishop of 
Mentz, was one of the Germanic cities which had received the Word 
of God with the greatest readiness. The inhabitants were strongly 
attached to their pastor, John Draco, one of the most enlightened 
men of his time. He was compelled to retire, but the Roman ec 
clesiastics quitted at the same time, dreading the popular ven 
geance. An evangelical deacon alone remained to administer spi 
ritual consolation. At the same time troops from Mentz entered 
and spread over the town, uttering blasphemies, brandishing their 
swords, and giving themselves up to debauchery. 2 

Some evangelical Christians fell under their blows, 3 others were 
seized and thrown into dungeons, the Romish rites were again set 
up, the reading of the Bible was prohibited, and the inhabitants 
were forbidden to speak of the gospel, even in their most private 
intercourse. On the entry of the troops the deacon had taken 
refuge in the house of a poor widow. He was denounced to the 
rulers, who sent a soldier to seize him. The humble deacon 
hearing the soldier, who was seeking his life, advancing with hasty 
steps, quietly waited for him, and when the door was hastily opened 
he rose mildly to meet him, and embracing him cordially said, " I 
salute you, my brother; here I am, plunge your sword into my 
bosom." 4 The fierce soldier, astonished, let his sword fall from 
his hand, and would not allow any harm to be done to the pious 

Meanwhile the inquisition of the Low Countries, thirsting for 
blood, scoured the country, and searched every where for the young 
Augustins who had escaped from the persecution of Antwerp. Esch , 
Voes, and Lambert, were at last discovered, chained, and carried 
to Brussels. Egmondanus, Hochstratten,and some other inquisi 
tors, summoned them before them. Hochstratten asked, "Do you 
retract your assertion that the priest has not power to pardon sins, 
and that pardon belongs to God only? " He next enumerated all 
the evangelical doctrines, and summoned them to abjure them. 
"We recant nothing," exclaimed Esch and Voes firmly; " we will 
not abjure the Word of God; we will sooner die for the faith!" 

1 Jacobus, Dei miraculo liberatus qui nunc agit nobiscum. (L. Ep. ii, p. 182.) This 
letter, which in Wette s collection bears the date of 14th April, must be posterior to 
June. For Luther, on the 27th June, says, that Probst has been taken a second time, 
and is to be burnt. It may be admitted that Probst was in Wittemberg between his 
two imprisonments, for Luther would not have said of a Christian who had saved him 
self by a recantation that he had been delivered by a mirncle of God. Perhaps tha 
date should be read, not in die S. Tiburtii, but in die Turiafi, which would bring it 
to 13th July, which seems to me the more probable date. 2 So sie doch schand- 

licher leben denn Huren und Buben. (Ibid., ii, p. 482.) s gchlug etliche todt 

(fV< -k.. p. 04.) 4 Sey ;r(>rii<;t, mein Briuter. (Scultet., ann. i, p. 173.) 


Inquisitor. " Do you confess that you have been led astray by 

The Young Augustins. " Just as the apostles were led astray by 
Jesus Christ." 

TJie Inquisitors. " We pronounce you heretics, who deserve to 
be burnt alive ; and we hand you over to the secular arm." 

Lambert was silent : he was afraid of death : anguish and doubt 
agitated his soul. " I ask four days," said he, in a suppressed tone. 
He was taken back to prison. As soon as this period was expired, 
the sacerdotal consecration was formally withdrawn from Esch and 
Voes, who were handed over to the council of the Kegent of the 
Low Countries, The council handed them over hand-cuffed to 
the executioner. Hochstralten,and three other inquisitors accom 
panied them even to the scaffold. 1 

When arrived near the scaffold, the young martyrs eyed it 
calmly ; their constancy, their piety, their youth, 2 drew tears even 
from the inquisitors. When they were bound, the confessors ap 
proached: "We ask you once more, Will you receive the Christian 

The Martyrs. " We believe in the Christian Church ; but not in 
your Church." 

A half hour passed away : it was hoped that the prospect of so 
frightful a death would intimidate the youths. But, the only persons 
who were calm amidst the agitated crowd which covered the public 
square, they sung psalms, occasionally interrupting this employ 
ment to say boldly, " We wish to die for the name of Jesus Christ." 

"Be converted, be converted," exclaimed the inquisitors, "or" 
you will die in the name of the devil." " No," replied the martyrs : 
" we will die as Christians for the truth of the gospel." 

The pile was set on fire. While the flame ascended slowly, 
divine peace filled their hearts ; and one of them even went so 
far as to saj , " I feel as if reclining on a bed of roses." 3 The solemn 
hour had come : death was at hand : the two martyrs, with loud 
voice, exclaimed, " O Domini Jesu, Fili David, miserere nostri!" 
" Lord Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on us ! " Then they began 
in a solemn voice to repeat the creed. 4 At length the flames reached 
them ; but, before depriving them of life, burned the cords with 
which they were bound to the pile. One of them taking advantage 
of his liberty, threw himself on his knees, and thus worshipping 
his Master, 5 with clasped hands, exclaimed, " Lord Jesus, Son 

1 Facta est hsec res Brnxellae in pnhlioo foro. (L. Ep. ii, p. 861.) The execution took 

place at Ruiss.-U in the public mwrket place. 2 Nondum triginta anno, 

rum. ( hid.) Not yet thirty years of age. s Bit sclrjnen mij als roosen te ztfn. 

(Brandt Hist, der llvfurmatit i. p. 79 ) * ^dmoto igni, canere ccpperunt syra- 

bolum nd.-i says Erasmus. (Ep. i, p. 1278.) 5 Da ist der eine im Feuer auf die 
Knie getalleu. (L. Op. xviii, p. 481.) 

MARTYliDOM. 121 

of David, have mercy on us!" The fire surrounded their bodies: 
they sung the Te Deum laudamns. Shortly after their voice was 
stifled by the flames, and all that remained of them was their 

The execution had lasted four hours. It was on the 1st July, 
1523, that the first martyrs of the Reformation thus gave their 
lives for the gospel. 

All good men shuddered when they heard of it: . The future 
excited great alarm. " Executions begin," said Erasmus. 1 " At 
length," exclaimed Luther, " Jesus Christ gathers some fruit from 
our doctrine. He forms new martyrs." 

But the joy which Luther felt at the fidelity of these two Chris 
tian youths was damped by the thought of Lambert. He was the 
most learned of the three, and had taken the place of Probst, as 
preacher, at Antwerp. Agitated in his dungeon, and afraid of 
death, he was still more alarmed by his conscience, which re 
proached him with his cowardice, and urged him to confess the 
gospel. Shortly after having got the better of his fears, he boldly 
proclaimed the truth, and died like his brethren. 2 

A rich harvest was produced from the blood of these martyrs. 
Brussels turned towards the gospel. 3 " Wherever Aleander raises 
a scaffold," said Erasmus, " the effect is the same as if he sowed 
heretics." 4 

"Your bonds are my bonds," exclaimed Luther, "your dungeons 
my dungeons, and your scaffolds my scaffolds!" 5 u We are all 
with you and the Lord is at our head." He then wrote a beautiful 
poem in celebration of the death of the young monks. In a short 
time the poem was sung in Germany and the Netherlands, in 
town and country, eveiy where producing an enthusiastic feeling for 
the faith of the martyrs : 

No ! their ashes will not die ; 

Abroad their holy dust will fly, 

And scatter d o er earth s farthest strand, 

Raise i^p for God a warlike band. 

Satan, by taking life away, 

May keep them silent for a day ; 

But death has from him victory wrung, 

And Christ in every olime is sung. 6 

1 Cnepta est carnificina. (Ep. p. 1429.) 2 Quarta post exustns est tertius frater 

Lambertus. (L. Ep. ii, p. 361.) 3 Ea mors multos fecit L ltheranos. (Er. Ep. p. 

952.) That death m-ide muny Lutherans. Turn demum ccepit civitas favere Lu- 
thero. (Tbid., p. 1676.) Erasmus to Duke George. Ea civitas antea purissima. 
(Ibid., p. 1430.) * Ubicunque fumos excitavit nuntius, ibi diceres fnisse factam 

haereseon sementem. (Ibid.) 5 Vestra viacula inea sunt, vestri carceres et 

ignes mei sunt. (L. Ep. ii, p. 464.) 

6 Die Asche will nicht lassen ab, 
Sie staubt in alien Landen, 

Hie hilft kein Bach, Loch, noch Grab . . . (L. Op. xviii, p. 484.) 
3 F 



New Pope The Legate Campeggio Diet of Nuremberg Demand of the Legate 
Reply of the Diet Project of a Secular Council Alarm and efforts of the Pope 
Bavaria League of Ratisbon Rigour and Reform Political Schisms Opposi 
tion Intrigues of Rome Edict of Bruges Rupture. 

Adrian would doubtless have persisted in violent courses. The 
inefficacy of his attempts to arrest the Reformation, his orthodoxy, 
his zeal, his rigour, his conscience even would have made him a 
cruel persecutor. Providence put it out of his power. On the 
14th September, 1523, he died, and the Romans, delighted at their 
deliverance from this rigid stranger, decked the gate of his physi 
cian with flowers, placing over them the inscription " To the 
saviour of his country." 

Julius de Medici, cousin of Leo X, succeeded, under the name 
of Clement VII. From the day of his election, no more was 
heard of religious reform. The new pope, like many of his pre 
decessors, thought only of upholding the privileges of the pa 
pacy, and employing them as the means of extending his power. 

Wishing to repair the faults of Adrian, Clement sent to Nurem 
berg a legate of his own temper, one of the ablest prelates of his 
court, the Cardinal Campeggio, a man of great experience in busi 
ness, and acquainted with almost all the princes of Germany. The 
legate, who had been received with great pomp in the towns of 
Italy, soon became aware of the change which had taken place in 
the empire. On entering Augsburg, wishing, according to custom, 
to give his benediction to the people, he was received with laugh 
ter. He held it as pronounced, and entered Nuremberg incognito, 
without repairing to the Church of St. Sebald, where the clergy 
were in attendance. No priests went before him in sacerdotal 
garments, no crucifix was carried before him in state. 1 One 
would have said it was an ordinary individual walking along the 
street. Every thing announced to the papacy that its reign was 
drawing to a close. 

The Diet had again been opened at Nuremberg, in January, 1524. 
A storm threatened the national government, which had owed 
its existence to the firmness of Frederick. The Suabian league, 
the wealthiest towns of Germany, and, above all, Charles V, had 
vowed its destruction. It was accused of favouring the new heresy. 

i Communi habitu, quod per sylvas et campos ierat, per mediam urbem . . . sine 
clero, sine prtevia truce. (Cochl., p. 8 ->.) 


Accordingly, it was resolved to renew the administration without 
retaining one of the old members. Frederick, in vexation, imme 
diately quitted Nuremberg. 

The festival of Easter being at hand, Osiander and the evange 
lical preachers redoubled their zeal. The former preached openly, 
ihat antichrist entered Kome the very day Constantine the Great 
quitted it to take up his residence at Constantinople. The conse 
cration of branches, and several of the other ceremonies of the 
festival were omitted ; four thousand persons received the Supper 
in both kinds, and the Queen of Denmark, the emperor s sister, 
received it publicly in the same form in the castle. " Ah !" ex 
claimed the Archduke Ferdinand in a transport of rage, " I wish 
you were not my sister." " The same womb earned us," replied 
the queen, " and I will sacrifice every thing to please you except 
the Word of God." 1 

Campeggio shuddered on beholding so much hardihood, but af 
fecting to despise the laughter of the people, and the sermons of 
the preachers, trusting to the support of the emperor and the pope, 
he reminded the Diet of the edict of Worms, and demanded that 
the Reformation should be suppressed by force. At these words 
several of the princes and deputies expressed their indignation. 
" What," said they to Campeggio, " have become of the grievances 
presented to the pope by the Germanic nation?" The legate, in 
accordance with his instructions, assumed an air of simple aston 
ishment. " Three copies of that production," said he, " reached 
Rome, but we had no official communication of it, and I could not 
believe that a document so unbecoming could have emanated from 
your lordships." 

The Diet was indignant at this reply. If this is the way in 
which their representations are received by the pope, they, too, in 
their turn, will know how to receive those which he may be pleased 
to address to them. " The people," said several deputies, " are 
thirsting for the Word of God, and to force it from them, as or 
dered by the edict of Worms, were to cause torrents of blood to be 

The Diet immediately proceeded to prepare an answer to the 
pope. Not having power to abolish the edict of Worms, they 
appended a clause which virtually annulled it. " It is necessary," 
said they, " to conform to it so far as possible." 2 Several States 
had declared that it was impossible. At the same time evoking 
the importunate shade of the Councils of Constance and Basle, the 

1 Wolle sich des Wortes Gottes halten. (Seckend. p. 613.) 2 Quantum eis po*. 

ibile sit . . (Cochl., p. 84.) 



Diet demanded that an universal Council of Christendom should 
be convened in Germany. 

The friends of the Reformation did not stop here. What was 
to be expected from a council, which, perhaps, never would be called, 
and which, in all events, would be composed of bishops from all 
nations? Would Germany submit its anti-Roman feelings to pre 
lates from Spain, France, England, and Italy ? The national 
government having been overthrown, its place must be supplied 
by a national assembly to protect the interests of the people. 

In vain did Hannaart, who had beery sent from Spain by Charles 
V, and all the partisans of Rome and the empire, oppose this pro 
ject. The majority of the Diet were inflexible. It was agreed 
that a Diet, a secular assembly, should meet at Spires in Novem 
ber, to regulate all religious questions, and that the States should 
direct their theologians forthwith to prepare a list of the contro 
verted points, to be submitted to this august assembly. 

The task was immediately commenced. Each province prepared 
its document. Never had Rome been threatened with a mightier 
explosion. Franconia, Brandenburg, Henneberg, Windsheim, 
Wertheim, Nuremberg, declared, in evangelical terms, against the 
seven sacraments, the abuses of the mass, the worship of saints, 
and the supremacy of the pope. " Here," said Luther, " is money 
of a good stamp." Not one of the questions generally agitated 
will be passed over in silence in this national council. The ma 
jority will obtain general measures The unity of 

Germany, its independence, and Reformation will be secured. 

At this news the pope could not restrain his anger. What ! Is it 
dared to establish a secular tribunal to decide on religious matters, 
and that contrary to his authority ? l If this monstrous resolution 
is executed, no doubt, Germany is saved, but Rome is destroyed ! 
A consistory was assembled in all haste, and from the agitated 
state of the senators, it might have been supposed that the Ger 
mans were marching on the Capital. " The thing necessary," said 
Aleander, " is to pluck the electoral hat from the head of 
Frederick." " The kings of England and Spain," said another 
cardinal, " must threaten to break off all intercourse with the free 
towns." At last the congregation decided, that the only means of 
safety was to stir up heaven and earth, in order to prevent the 
meeting at Spires. 

The pope immediately wrote the emperor. "If I am the first 
to face the storm, it is not because I am the only person threatened 

1 PontiFex segerrime tulit . . i ^ens novum de religione tribunal eo pacto 
excitari citra ipsius auctoritaiem. (Pallav. i, p. 182.) The pontiff took it very ill . 
when he heard that, in that way, a new religious tribunal was erected without hia 



by it, but because I sit at the helm. The rights of the empire 
are attacked even more than the dignity of the court of Home." 

While the pope sent this letter into Castille, he laboured to ob 
tain allies in Germany. He had soon gained one of the most 
powerful houses of the empire, that of the Dukes of Bavaria. The 
edict of Worms had not been better observed there than else 
where, and the evangelical doctrine had made great progress; 
but, about the end of 1 521, the princes of the country having been 
shaken by Dr. Eck, the Chancellor of the University of Ingolstadt, 
had approximated to Rome, and issued an edict, by which they 
enjoined all their subjects to remain faithful to the religion of their 
fathers. 1 

The Bavarian bishops testified their alarm at the proposed en 
croachment of the secular power; and Eck set out to Home to 
petition the pope to extend the influence of the princes. The pope 
granted every thing, and even bestowed on the dukes a fifth of the 
ecclesiastical revenues of their country. 

Thus, at a time when the Reformation had not assumed any 
organised form, Roman Catholicism had recourse to powerful insti 
tutions for its support; and Catholic princes, sanctioned by the 
pope, laid hands on the revenues of the Church long before the 
Reformation ventured to touch them. What, then, must be 
thought of the charges which the Roman Catholics have so often 
made in this respect ? 

Clement VII could count upon the Dukes of Bavaria in quelling 
the formidable assembly of Spires. Shortly after, the Archduke 
Ferdinand, the Archbishop of Salzburg, and several other princes 
were also gained. 

But this did not satisfy Campeggio. Germany must be divided 
into two camps. Germans must be set against Germans. 

During his stay at Stuttgard, the legate, in concert with Ferdi 
nand, had sketched the plan of a league against the Reformation. 
* There is every thing to be feared," said he, " from an assembly, 
where the popular voice will be heard. The Diet of Spires may 
destroy Rome and save Wittemberg. Let us close our ranks and 
arrange our order of battle." 2 Ratisbon was fixed on as the place 
of rendezvous. 

Notwithstanding of the jealousy between the houses of Bavaria 
and Austria, Campeggio succeeded, in the end of June, 1524, in 
bringing about a meeting in this town, between the Dukes of Ba 
varia and the Archduke Ferdinand. The Archbishop of Salzburg, 
and the bishops of Trent and Ratisbon, joined them. The bishops 

1 Erstes baierisches Religions Man.M. (Winter, Gesch. der Evang. Lehre ia 
Baiern, i, p. 310.) a Ibid., p, 15(i. 


of Spires, Bamberg, Augsburg, Strasburg, Basle, Constance, Frei 
singen, Passau, and Brixen, were represented by deputies. 

The legate opened the meeting, with an energetic picture of tho 
dangers to which the Reformation exposed the princes and clergy. 
" Let us extirpate heresy, and save the Church," exclaimed he. 

The conferences continued during fifteen days in the town-house 
of Ratisbon. A grand ball, which was kept up during a whole 
night, enlivened this first Catholic assembly, held by the papacy 
against the rising Reformation. 1 The measures intended to destroy 
the heretics were afterwards resolved, 

The princes and bishops engaged to execute the edicts of Worms 
and Nuremberg to allow no change in public worship to give 
no toleration within their States to any married ecclesiastic to 
recall all the students belonging to their States who might be at 
Wittemberg, and to employ all the means in their power for the 
extirpation of heresy. In regard to difiicult passages of Scripture, 
preachers were enjoined to confine themselves to the interpretation 
given by the fathers of the Latin Church, viz., Ambrose, Jerome, 
Augustine, and Gregory. Not daring, in presence of the Refor 
mation, to re-establish the authority of the schoolmen, they con 
tented themselves with laying the first foundations of Roman 

On the other hand, not being able to shut their eyes to the scandals 
and corrupt manners of the priests, 2 they agreed on a scheme of 
reform, in which they agreed to pay regard to those German griev 
ances in which the court of Rome were least concerned. Priests 
were forbidden to engage in trade, to haunt taverns, frequent 
dances, and engage over the bottle in discussing articles of faith. 

Such was the result of the confederation of Ratisbon. 3 Whilo 
taking up arms against the Reformation, Rome conceded some 
what to it. In these resolutions may be observed the first influ 
ence of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, in effecting an 
internal revival in Catholicism. The gospel cannot display its 
power without compelling its opponents in some way to imitate it. 
Emser had opposed a translation of the Bible to the translation 01 
Luther, and Eck Common Places to those of Melancthon; 4 and 
now Rome opposed to the Reformation those partial attempts 
at reform to which we owe modem Catholicism. But all these 
acts of Rome were in reality only subtile expedients to 
escape from the danger which threatened her, branches plucked, 

1 Ranke. Deutsche Gesch. ii, p. 159. 2 Improbis clericorum abusibus et perditis 

moribus. (Cochl. p. 91.) The wicked abuses and abandoned morals of the clergy. 

3 Ut Lutheran* faction! efficacius resistere possint, ultronea confederatione sese 
constrixerunt (Ibid.) That they might the more effectually resist the Lutheran 
fiction, they voluntarily entered into a confederacy. * Enchiridion, seu Loci Com- 
munescontraHffireticos., 1525. 


k is true, from the tree of the Reformation, but planted in a soil 
in which they could only die. Life was wanting, and always will 
be wanting, to similar attempts. 

We are here presented with another fact. At Ratisbon the 
Roman party formed the first league which destroyed German 
unity. It was in the camp of the pope that the signal for battle 
was given. Ratisbon was the cradle of that schism that political 
disruption of Germany, which still, in our day, so many Germans 
deplore. The national assembly of Spires might, by sanctioning 
and generalising the Reformation of the Church, have secured the 
unity of the empire. The separatist conventicle of Ratisbon rent 
the nation for ever into two parties. x 

Meanwhile the projects of Campeggio did not at first succeed so 
well as had been imagined. Few princes responded to the call. The 
most decided opponents of Luther, Duke George of Saxony, the 
Elector Joachim of Brandenburg, the ecclesiastical electors, and the 
imperial towns took no part in it. The feeling was, that the pope s 
legate was forming in Germany a Roman party against the nation 
itself. The popular sympathies counterbalanced the religious an 
tipathies, and the Reformation of Ratisbon soon became the object 
of popular derision. But the first step was taken : the example 
was given. It was thought that there would afterwards be little 
difficulty in strengthening and extending the Roman league. Those 
who still hesitated would find it impossible to avoid being hurried 
along by the progress of events. To the legate Campeggio belongs 
the honour of having discovered the mine which brought the 
Germanic liberties within a finger s breadth of destruction. Thence 
forth Luther s cause ceased to be entirely of a religious nature ; 
the dispute of the monk of Wittemberg held a place in the politics 
of Europe. Luther is going to be eclipsed, and Charles V, the 
pope, and the princes will be the principal characters on the 
theatre where the great drama of the sixteenth century is to be 

The assembly of Spires, however, was still in perspective : it 
might repair the mischief which Campeggio had done at Ratisbon. 
Rome, therefore, used every effort to prevent it. "What!" said 
the deputies of the pope, not only to Charles Y, but to his ally 
Henry VIII and the princes of Christendom, " What ! do those 
proud Germans pretend to decide questions of faith in a national 
assembly ! Apparently, kings, the imperial majesty, all Christendom, 
the whole world will be obliged to stoop to their decrees." 

The moment was well chosen for influencing the emperor. The 
war between this prince and Francis I was at its height. Pescara 

1 Ranke Deutsche Geseh. ii, p. 163. 


and the Constable de Bourbon had quitted Italy in May, and t 
having entered France, laid siege to Marseilles. The pope, who did 
not regard this attack with a friendly eye, was able to make a 
powerful diversion in the rear of the imperial army. Charles, who 
must have been afraid to displease him, did not hesitate, but at 
once sacrificed the independence of the emperor for the favour of 
Home and the success of his struggle with France. 

On the 15th July, Charles, at Burgos in Castille, issued an edict 
in which, in an imperious and impassioned tone, he declared " that 
it belonged to the pope alone to assemble a council to the em 
peror alone to ask it : that the meeting fixed to take place at 
Spires could not, and would not, be tolerated : that it was strange 
in the German nation to undertake a work which all the other 
nations of the world, even with the pope, would not be entitled to 
do ; that the proper course was to hasten the execution of the 
decree of Worms against the new Mahomet." 

Thus, from Spain and Italy proceeded the stroke which arrested 
the progress of the gospel in Germany. This did not satisfy 
Charles. In 1519 he had offered to Duke John, the Elector s 
brother, to marry his sister, the Archduchess Catherine, to John 
Frederick, the duke s son, and heir to ^e electorate. But was not 
this the house of Saxony which maintained the principles of reli 
gious and political independence in Saxony, and which Charles 
hated ? He determined to break entirely with the troublesome and 
criminal representative of evangelical and national ideas, and gave 
his sister in marriage to John III, king of Portugal. Frederick 
who, in 1519, had been indifferent to the overtures of the king of 
Spain, was able, in 1524, to suppress the indignation he felt at 
the emperor s conduct, but Duke John keenly expressed what ho 
felt at the blow thus inflicted. 

Thus the twc hostile camps which were long to rend the empire 
became more distinctly marked. 


Persecution Gaspard Tauber A. Bookseller Cruelties in Wurtemberg, Salzburg, 
Bavaria, Pomerania Henry of Zuphten. 

The Romish party did not stop here. The alliance of Ratisbon 
was not to be a mere form. It was necessary that it should be seal 
ed with blood. Ferdinand and Campeggio went down the Danube 
together from Ratisbon to Vienna, and, during the voyage, gave to 


each other promises of cruelty. Persecution immediately com 
menced in the Austrian states. 

A citizen of Venice, named Gaspard Tauber, had circulated the 
works of Luther, and had himself written against the invocation 
of saints, purgatory, and transubstantiation. 1 Being thrown into 
prison, he was summoned by the judges, as well theologians as 
lawyers, to retract his errors. It was thought that he was willing 
to do so, and every thing was prepared to give the people of Vienna 
the solemr "pectacle. On the birth-day of Mary, two desks were 
erected in the cemetery of St. Stephen, the one for the leader of 
the choir, who was to chant in celebration of the heretic s repent 
ance, and the other for Tauber himself. The form of recantation 
was put into his hand : 2 the people, the singers, and the priests 
were waiting in silence. Whether Tauber had not given any 
promise, or whether, at the moment of abjuration, his faith suddenly 
revived with new force, he exclaimed, u I am not convinced, and 
I appeal to the Holy Roman Empire." The ecclesiastics, the choir, 
and the people were amazed. But Tauber continued to demand 
death sooner than deny the gospel. He was beheaded, and his 
body was burnt. 3 His courage made a lasting impression on the 
citizens of Vienna. 

At Bude, in Hungary, an evangelical bookseller, named John, 
had circulated the New Testament, and Luther s writings, through 
out the country. He was tied to a stake, then all his books were 
gradually piled around him, and set on fire. John displayed un 
shaken courage, exclaiming, from the midst of the flames, that he 
was happy in suffering for the Lord. 4 " Blood succeeds blood," ex 
claimed Luther, on hearing of his death, " but this noble blood 
which Rome is pleased to shed, will at length suffocate the pope 
with all his kingdoms and all his kings." 5 

Fanaticism became more and more inflamed : evangelical 
ministers were driven from their churches ; magistrates were 
banished : sometimes dreadful executions took place. In Wur- 
temberg an inquisitor named Reichler, caused the Lutherans, and 
especially their preachers, to be hung on trees. Barbarians were 
seen coolly nailing ministers to the stake by the tongue, so that 
the poor sufferers in struggling or tearing themselves from the 

1 Atque etiam proprios ipse tractatus perFcripserirn. (Coch. p. 92, verso.) I have 
also read tracts by himself. 2 >< ee Cooli., Ib. Cum i^itur ego Casparus Tauber. 

etc. 3 Cr<id< te vidisse Casparis Tauber histortam rnartyris novi Viennae, quern 

caesum capite scrilmnt et i<;iie exusturn pro verbo Dei. (Luther to Ilausmann, 12 No. 
1524, ii, p. 5S3.) I believe y,,u have seen the account of Gaspard Tauber the new 
martyr, at Vienna, who is said to have been beheaded and burnt in the flames for thft 
Word Of Cod. * Idem ncudit Bud.-e iu Unparia bibliopolse cuidam Johannf. 

simul cmn libiis circa eum positis exiisto. fortissimeque passo pro Domino. (Ibid.) 

5 Sanguis sanguinem tangit, qui suffocabit papam cum regibus et reguis sais 
(It-id.) x 2 


wood to which they were fastened, to regain their liberty were hor 
ribly mutilated, and thus were made the instruments of depriving 
themselves of that gift of speech, Avhich they had long employed in 
preaching the gospel. 1 

The same persecutions were earned on in the other States of the 
Catholic League. An evangelical minister of Salzburg was on the 
way to prison, where he would have ended his days. While the of 
ficers, who had him in charge, were drinking in an inn on the road, 
two peasants, moved with compassion, eluded their vigilance, and 
delivered the pastor. The wrath of the archbishop was inflamed 
against the poor youths ; and, without any legal process, he gave 
orders that they should be beheaded. They were led away secretly, 
at an early hour, beyond the town. When they arrived at the 
spot where they were to suffer, the executioner himself hesitated : 
" for," said he, " they have not been tried." " Do what I command 
you," sharply replied the commissary of the archbishop, " and leave 
the responsibility to the prince ! " And the heads of the young 
deliverers immediately fell under the sword. 2 

Persecution raged especially in the States of the Dukes of 
Bavaria : the priests were deposed, and the nobles banished 
from their castles ; informers were employed over the whole 
country ; distrust and terror reigned in all hearts. A magistrate, 
name ! Bernard Fichtel, was journeying to Nuremberg on the affairs 
of the duke ; on the highway he fell in with Francis Bnrkhard, pro 
fessor at Ingolstadt, a friend of Dr. Eck. Burkhard accosted him, 
and they travelled on together. After supper, the professor began 
to speak of religion. Fichtel, being aware of his companion, 
reminded him that the new edict prohibited such conversation. 
"Between us," replied Burkhard, "there is no room for fear." 
Fichtel then said, "I do not believe that this edict can ever be exe 
cuted," and expressed himself in an equivocal manner on the subject 
of purgatory. He added that it was a horrible thing to inflict 
death for religious opinions. At these words Burkhard could not 
restrain himself. " What more just," exclaimed he, " than to cut 
off the heads of all these villains of Lutherans !" He, however, 
parted with Fichtel on good terms, but hastened to inform upon 
him. Fichtel was cast into prison ; and the poor man, who had 
never thought of becoming a martyr, and whose convictions were 
not deep, only escaped death by the disgrace of a recantation. 
There was now no safety any where : not even in the bosom of a 

But the death which Fichtel escaped, others met. In vain was 

1 Kanke Deutsche Gesch. ii, p. 174. s Zauner, Salzburger Chronik, iv, p. 38J- 


it to preach the gospel only in secret. 1 The dukes persecuted it 
in the shade, in concealment, under the roofs of houses, in secret 
retreats, in the fields. 

" The cross and persecution," said Luther, " reign in Bavaria : 
these ferocious beasts carry it with fury." 2 

Even the north of Germany was not sheltered from these cruel 
ties. Bogislas, Duke of Pomerania, having died, his son, who 
had been brought up at the court of Duke George, persecuted the 
gospel ; Suaren and Knipstraw were obb ged to save themselves by 

But it was in Holstein that one of the strongest instances of fan 
aticism was given. 

Henry of Zuphten, who had escaped, as we have seen, from the 
convent of Antwerp, was preaching the gospel at Bremen ; Nicho 
las Boye, pastor at Mehldorf, in the Dittmarches, and several pious 
persons in that district having invited him to preach the gospel 
to them, he complied. Forthwith, the prior of the Dominican, 
and the vicar of the official of Hamburg, consulted together. " If 
he preaches, and the people listen to him," said they, " all is lost!" 
The prior, after a wakeful night, got up early in the morning, and 
proceeded to the wild and sterile moor, where the forty-eight re 
gents of the country usually assembled. u The monk of Bremen is 
arrived," said he to them, " to ruin all the Dittmarches." These 
forty-eight simple and ignorant men, who were assured that they 
would acquire great renown by ridding the world of the heretical 
monk, resolved to put him to death without having either seen or 
heard him. 

It was Saturday, and the prior wishing to prevent Hemy 
from preaching on Sunday, arrived at midnight at the house of 
pastor Boye, with the letter of the forty-eight regents. " If it 
is God s will that I die in the Dittmarches," said Henry Zuphten, 
" heaven is as near there as anj where else. 3 I shall preach." 

He mounted the pulpit and preached powerfully. The hearers, 
touched and inflamed by his eloquence, had scarcely left the church 
when the prior put into their hands a letter from the forty-eight 
regents, forbidding them to allow the monk to preach. They im 
mediately sent their representatives to the heath, and, after long 
debate, the Dittmarches agreed that, considering their complete 
ignorance of the matter, they would wait till Easter. But the 
enraged prior waited on some of the regents, and anew inflamed 
their zeal. " We will write him," said they. " Beware of doing 

1 Verbi non palam seminati. (L. Ep. ii. p. 559.) 2 j n Bavaria multum rcgnat 

crux et persecutio .... (Ibid.) 3 i) er Hiramel ware da so nalie als anderswo. 

L. Op. xix, 330.) 


so," replied the prior ; " if he begins to speak, nothing can be done 
to him. He must be seized during the night, and burnt before 
he can open his mouth." 

It was so resolved. The day after the feast of the Conception, 
after it was night, the Ave Maria was tolled. At this signal, all the 
peasants of the neighbouring villages assembled, to the number of 
five hundred, and their leaders having caused five hogsheads of 
Hamburgh beer to be pierced, in this way inspired them with great 
courage. Midnight struck as they reached Mehldorf. The peasants 
were armed ; the monks carried torches ; the whole proceeded, 
without order, uttering furious cries. On arriving at the village, 
they kept a profound silence lest Henry should escape. 

The doors of the curacy were suddenly burst open, and the 
drunken peasants rushed in, striking at every thing that came in 
their way. They threw down vases, kettles, goblets, clothes, 
snatched up whatever gold or silver they could find, and pouncing 
on the poor pastor, struck him, crying, "Kill him! kill him!" 
They then threw him into the mire. But Henry was their ob 
ject. They pulled him from his bed, bound his hands behind his 
back, and dragged him after them. " What brought you here?" 
they asked. Henry having answered mildly, they exclaimed, 
"Away! away! if we listen to him we will become heretics like 
himself." He had been hurried naked over the ice and snow, his 
feet were bleeding, and he begged they would put him on horse 
back. " Good sooth," replied they in derision, " we are going to 
furnish heretics with horses ! Get along !" And they continued 
to drag him till they reached the heath. A woman, who was at 
the door of her house, as the poor servant of God passed, began to 
cry. "Good woman," said Henry to her, "weep not for me." 
The bailie pronounced his condemnation. Then one of the furious 
men who had brought him, struck the servant of Jesus Christ over 
the head with a sword : another struck him with a club. Next 
a poor monk was brought to receive his confession. " Brother," 
said Henry to him, " did I ever do you any harm?" " No," re 
plied the monk. " Then I have nothing to confess to you." The 
monk withdrew in confusion. Many ineffectual attempts were 
made to light the pile. In this way the martyr stood for two 
hours before these furious peasants calm, and with his eyes raised 
towards heaven. As they were binding him to throw him on the 
pile, he began to make confession of his faith. " Burn first, said 
a peasant, striking him on the mouth with his fist, " and you will 
speak after." He was thrown down, but fell on the side of the pile. 
John Holme, seizing a club, struck him on the breast, and he lay 
stretched out dead on the burnii 1 ^ faggots. " Such is the true 


history of the sufferings of the holy martyr, Henry of Zuph- 


Divisions Lord s Supper Two Extremes Carlstadt Luther Mysticism of the 
Anabaptists Carlstadt at Orlamund Mission of Luther Interview at dinner 
Conference of Orlamund Carlstadt banished. 

The Eeformation, while the Romish party were every where 
drawing the sword against it, was undergoing new developments. 
It is not at Zurich or Geneva, but at Wittemberg, the centre of 
the Lutheran revival, that we must trace the beginnings of that 
Reformed Church, of which Calvin has become the greatest doctor. 
These two great families slept in the same cradle. The union 
ought also to have crowned their age. But the question of the 
Supper having been once raised, Luther violently rejected the re 
formed element, and found himself and his Church in an exclusive 
Lutheranism. The chagrin which he felt at this rival doctrine 
deprived him somewhat of the good humour which was natural to 
him, and gave him a spirit of distrust, a habitual dissatisfaction 
and irritation, which he had not shown previously. 

It was between two old friends between the champions, who, 
at Leipsic, had fought together against Rome between Carlstadt 
and Luther that this dispute arose. Their attachment to contrary 
doctrines proceeded, both in the one and in the other, from estimable 
feelings. In fact, there are two extremes in religion; the one 
consists in materialising, the other in spiritualising every thing. 
The former is the extreme of Rome the latter that of the mystics. 
Religion, like man himself, consists of body and soul; the pure 
idealists, as well as the materialists, are equally wrong both in 
religion and in philosophy. 

Such is the grand discussion which lies hid under the dispute as 
to the Supper. While, on a superficial glance, we see only a 
paltry quarrel about words, a more profound examination discovers 
in it one of the most important controversies which can occupy 
the human mind. 

The Reformers thus form two great divisions; but each of them 
carries with it a portion of the truth. Luther, with his adherents, 
mean to combat an exaggerated spiritualism. Carlstadt, and the 
reformed, attack a hateful materialism. Each opposes the error 

1 Das ist die wahre Historic, etc. (L. Op. xix, p. 333. 


which he deems most fatal, and, in opposing it, perhaps goes be 
yond the truth. But no matter; each of them is true in its general 
tendency, and though belonging to different armies, these two 
distinguished doctors are ranged under one common banner that 
of Jesus Christ, who alone is the truth in its fullest extent. 

Carlstadt thought that nothing could be more hurtful to true 
piety than confidence in external ceremonies, and in a certain 
magical influence in the sacraments. Rome had said, that external 
participation in the sacrament of the Supper was sufficient to save, 
and this principle had materialised religion. Carlstadt saw nothing 
better fitted to spiritualise it anew than to deny all bodily pre 
sence of Christ; and he taught that the sacred repast was merely 
a pledge to believers of their redemption. 

On this subject Luther took quite an opposite direction. He had 
at the outset maintained the view which has just been indicated. 
In his writing on the mass, which appeared in 1520, he said, " I 
can every day enjoy the sacraments, if only I remember the word 
and promise of Christ, and with it nourish and strengthen my 
faith." Neither Carlstadt, Zuinglius, nor Calvin, has ever said 
any thing stronger. It even seems that, at this period, the idea 
often occurred to him, that a symbolical explanation of the Supper 
would be the most powerful weapon completely to overthrow the 
whole popish system; for in 1525 he says that, five years before, 
he had fought many hard battles in defence of this doctrine j 1 and 
that any one who could have proved to him that there was nothing 
but bread and wine in the Supper, would have done him an im 
mense service. 

But new circumstances occurred, which engaged him in an oppo 
sition, sometimes passionate, to these very views to which he had 
so nearly approximated. The fanaticism of the Anabaptists ex 
plain the direction which Luther then took. These enthusiasts 
were not satisfied with setting little value on what they called the 
external word, in other words, the Bible, and pretending to special 
revelations of the Holy Spirit ; they also went the length of despising 
the sacrament of the Supper as something external, and to speak 
of internal communion as alone true. Thenceforth, in all the 
attempts which were made to explain the doctrine of the Supper 
in a symbolical manner, Luther saw nothing but the danger of 
shaking the authority of the Holy Scriptures, of substituting ar 
bitrary allegories for their true meaning, of spiritualising every 
thing in religion, making it consist not in divine graces but in 
human impressions ; and thus substituting for true Christianity a 
mysticism, a theosophy, a fanaticism, which would inevitably be- 

i Ich babe wohl so harte Anfechtungen da erlitten. (L. Ep. p. 577.) 


come its tomb. It must be acknowledged that, but for the power 
ful opposition of Luther, the mystical, enthusiastic, and subjective 
tendency, would then, in all probability, have made rapid progress, 
and trampled under foot all the blessings which the Reformation 
was destined to diffuse in the world. 

Carlstadt, impatient at not being able freely to develope his faith 
at Wittemberg, urged by his conscience to combat a system, which, 
according to him, " lowered the death of Christ, and .annihilated 
his righteousness," resolved " to make an outbreak for the love of 
poor deluded Christendom." He quitted Wittemberg in the begin 
ning of 1524, without notice either to the university or the chapter, 
and repaired to the little town of Orlamund, whose church was 
under his superintendence. He caused the vicar to be deposed, 
and himself to be appointed pastor in his stead ; and in spite of the 
chapter, the university, and the Elector, fixed himself in this new 

Here he soon disseminated his doctrine. " It is impossible," said 
be, " to find in the real presence any advantage which does not 
flow from faith without it; it is therefore useless." In explaining 
the words of Christ in the institution of the supper, he had recourse 
to an interpretation which the Reformed Churches have not re 
ceived. In the Leipsic discussion, Luther had explained the 
words, " Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church" 
by separating the two clauses, and applying the latter to the per 
son of the Saviour. " In the same way," said Carlstadt, " take, 
eat, refers to the bread ; but, this is my body, refers to Jesus Christ, 
who then showed himself, and intimated by the symbolical sign of 
the breaking of bread, that the body was soon to be destroyed." 

Carlstadt did not stop here. No sooner had he broke loose from 
the tutelage of Luther, than he felt a revival of his zeal against 
images. His imprudent harangues, his enthusiastic expressions, 
must easily, in these times of fermentation, have inflamed men s 
minds. The people, thinking they heard a second Elijah, broke the 
idols of Baal. This zeal reached the surrounding villages. The 
Elector wished to interfere ; but the peasants answered him, that it 
was necessary to obey God rather than man. The prince resolved 
to send Luther to Orlamund to establish peace. Luther saw in 
i Carlstadt a man devoured by a love of renown, 1 a fanatic, who 
would allow himself to be carried the length of making war on 
Jesus Christ himself. Frederick might, perhaps, have made a 
wiser choice. Luther set out, and Carlstadt saw his troublesome 
rival once more disarranging his plans of reform, and arresting his 

J Hue pe pulit eum insana glorias et laudis libido. (L. Ep. ii, p. 551.) To this an 
Ilisaue thirst for praise and glory impelled him. 


Jena is on the road to Orlamund. On arriving in this town, on 
the 23rd August, Luther mounted the pulpit at seven in the mom- 
ing, and spoke for an hour and a half in presence of a numerous 
audience, against fanaticism, rebellion, the destruction of images, 
and contempt of the real presence, in particular, inveighing strongly 
against the innovations of Orlamund. He did not name Carlstadt, 
but every one could see that he had him in view. 

Carlstadt, whether by chance or design, was at Jena, and 
among the number of Luther s hearers. He hesitated not to apply 
for an explanation of the discourse. Luther was at dinner with 
the prior of Wittemberg, the burgomaster, the clerk, and pastor 
of Jena, and several officers in the service of the emperor and the 
margrave, when a letter from Carlstadt was put into his hands, 
asking an interview ; he handed it to those next him, and replied to 
the bearer, "If poctor Carlstadt chooses to come to me, well; 
if he does not choose to do so, I will dispense with it." Carlstadt 
arrived. His arrival produced a strong sensation in the party. 
The greater part eager to see the two lions at close quarters, ceased 
dining and stared, while the more timid grew pale with fear. 

Carlstadt, on the invitation of Luther, sat down opposite to 
him, and then said, " Doctor, in your sermon to-day you put me 
in the same class with those who preach rebellion and assassina 
tion. I say that charge is false." 

Luther. u I did not name you, but since you have felt hit, good 
and well." 

After a moment of silence, Carlstadt resumed. 

" I engage to prove, that, on the doctrine of the Sacrament, you 
have contradicted yourself, and that no man, since the days of the 
apostles, has taught it so purely as I have done." 

Luther. " Write debate!" 

Carlstadt. " I challenge you to a public discussion at Wittem 
berg or Erfurth, if you procure me a safe-conduct." 

Luther. " Fear nothing doctor." 

Carlstadt. " You bind me hand and foot, and when you have 
put it out of my power to defend myself, you strike me." 1 

There was a pause. Luther resumed. 

" Write against me, but publicly, not in secret." 

Carlstadt. " If I thought you were speaking in earnest I would 
do so." 

Luther. " Do it, and I ll give you a florin." 

Carlstadt. " Give it, I accept it." 

At these words, Luther put his hand in his pocket and drew out 
a gold florin, and giving it to Carlstadt, said, " Take it, and attack 
me valiantly." 

1 Ihr bandet mir Hande et FUsse, darnach schlugt Ihr mich, (L. Op. xix, p. 150.) 


Carlstadt, holding the gold florin in his hand, turned to the 
party, and said, " Dear friends, this is my arrhals, a pledge that I 
am authorised to write against Doctor Luther ; I take you all to 

Then bending the florin that it might be known again, he put it 
into his purse, and shook hands with Luther. Luther drank his 
health, and Carlstadt returned it. " The more vigorous your at 
tacks, the more agreeable they will be," resumed Luther. 

" If I fail," replied Carlstadt, " it will be my own-fault." 

They again shook hands, and Carlstadt returned home. 

Thus, says a biographer, in the same way as from a single spark 
often arises the conflagration of a whole forest, from a small be 
ginning arose a great division in the Church. 1 

Luther proceeded to Oiiamund, and arrived there ill prepared by 
the scene at Jena. He assembled the council and the church, and 
said, " Neither the Elector nor the university is willing to recog 
nise Carlstadt as your pastor." " If Carlstadt is not our pastor," 
replied the treasurer of the Town Council, " St. Paul is a false 
teacher, and your books are lies, for we have chosen him." 

As he said these words, Carlstadt entered. Some of the persons 
near Luther motioned to him to be seated, but Carlstadt, going 
straight up to Luther, said to him, " Dear doctor, allow me to 
give you welcome ? 

Luther. " You are my enemy. You have my gold florin as a 

Carlstadt. " I mean to continue your enemy, so long as you 
continue the enemy of God and of his truth." 

Luther. u Begone ; I cannot allow you to appear here." 

Carlstadt. " This is a public meeting. If your cause is just, 
why fear me ? " 

Luther (to his servant.) "Make ready, make ready; I have 
nothing to do with Carlstadt, and since he will not leave, I start." 2 

At the same time Luther rose up. Then Carlstadt withdrew. 

After a momentary pause, Luther resumed, "Prove by Scrip 
ture that it is right to destroy images." 

A Counsellor. " Doctor, you will grant that Moses knew the 
commandment of God," (opening a Bible.) " Very well; here are 
his words, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any 
lUtcness: " 

Luther. " This passage refers only to the images of idols. If I 
hang up a crucifix in my chamber without worshipping it, what 
harm can it do me ? " 

1 Sicutuna scintilla smpe totam svlvam comburit. (M. Adam, Vit. Carlst. p. 
Our narrative is taken in grat part from the Acts of Reinhavd, pastor of Jena, 
eye-witness, but friend of Carlstadt. Luther charges him with inaccuracy. 

>. 83.) 

2 Spann an, spann an. (].. Oj>. xix,p 154.) 


A Shoemaker. " I have often taken off my hat to an image 
which happened to be in my room or on the road; this is an act of 
idolatry which robs God of the glory due to him alone." 

Luther. " It will be necessary then, because of abuse, to des 
troy females, and throw our wine into the street." l 

Another Member of the CJmrch. " No : they are creatures of 
God, which we are not enjoined to destroy." 

After the conference had lasted some time longer, Luther and his 
people got up into their carnage, astonished at what had passed, 
and without having succeeded in convincing the inhabitants, who 
also claimed for themselves the right of freely interpreting and ex 
pounding the Scriptures. There was great agitation in Orlamund ; 
the people insulted Luther, some even cried to him, "Begone, in 
the devil s name. May you break your neck before you get out of 
our town." 2 Never yet had the Reformer been subjected to such 
humbling treatment. 

He repaired to Kale, the pastor of which had also embraced the 
doctrines of Carlstadt. Here he resolved to preach. On entering 
the pulpit he found the remains of a crucifix in it. At first he 
was deeply moved; but immediately recovering himself, he gathered 
the fragments into a corner of the pulpit, and delivered a sermon 
which contained no allusion to the circumstance. " I wished, by 
contempt," said he afterwards, " to have my revenge of the devil." 

The nearer the Elector approached his end, the more he seemed 
to fear that the Reformation was going too far. He gave orders 
that Carlstadt should be deprived of his situations, and that he 
should quit not only Orlamund, but the electoral States. In vain 
did the church of this town interpose in his behalf; in vain did they 
ask that he should be allowed to reside among them as a citizen, 
and give an occasional sermon ; in vain did they represent that 
they valued the truth of God more than the whole world, and even 
than a thousand worlds, had God created a thousand. 3 Frederick 
was inflexible ; he even went the length of refusing the money 
necessary for his journey. Luther was no party to this harshness 
of the prince ; it was foreign to his nature, and this he showed at 
an after period. But Carlstadt regarded him as the author of his 
misfortune, and filled Germany with his complaints and lamenta 
tions. He wrote a farewell letter to his friends of Orlamund. 
This letter, for the reading of which the belJs were rung, and which 
was heard by the assembled Church amidst tears, 4 was signed, 

1 So muss du des Missbrauchs halber auch. (L. Op. xix. p. 155.) 2 Two 

of the most distinguished historians at present possessed by Germany, add, that the 
people of Orlamund threw stones and dirt at Luther ; but Luther says the very con 
trary: " Dass ich nit mit Steinen und Dreck ausgeworffen ward." (L. Ep. ii, p. 579.) 

3 Hbher als tausend Welten. (Seek., p. 628.) * Quoe Publice vocatis per cam- 

panas lectae sunt omnibus simul flentibus. fL. Es>. ii, p. 558.) 


" Andrew Bodenstein, banished by Luther without having been 
either heard or convicted by him." 

It is painful to see this bitter quarrel between two who had 
formerly been friends, and were both excellent men. A feeling of 
sadness was experienced by all the disciples of the Reformation. 
What was to become of it, now that its most illustrious defenders 
had come to blows? Luther saw these fears, and tried to calm 
them. " Let us fight," said he, " as fighting for another. The 
cause is God s, the management God s, the glory God s. 1 He will 
fight and conquer without us. Let that which must fall, fall. Let 
that which is to stand, stand. It is not our own cause that is in 
question, nor is it our own glory that we seek." 

Carlstadt retired to Strasburg, where he published several pro 
ductions. "He was thoroughly acquainted," says Dr. Scheur, 
" with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew ;" Luther acknowledged the 
superiority of his erudition. Of an elevated spirit, he sacrificed his 
reputation, his rank, his country, his bread even, to his convictions. 
At a later period he retired to Switzerland. It was there he ought 
to have broached his doctrines ; his independence required the free 
atmosphere in which an (Ecolampadius and a Zuinglius breathed. 
His doctrine soon attracted almost as much attention as Luther s 
Theses had obtained. Switzerland seemed to be gained, and with 
it Bucjer and Capito. 

Luther s indignation being now at its height, he published one 
of the most powerful, but also one of the most violent, of his con 
troversial writings, viz.: his book Against the Heavenly Prophets" 

Thus the Reformation, attacked by the pope, attacked by the 
emperor, attacked by the princes, began also to tear itself to pieces. 
It appeared on the point of sinking under so many disasters, and 
certainly must have sunk if it had only been a work of man. 
But, when on the point of sinking, it arose with new energy. 


Progress Resistance to the Leaguers Meeting between Philip of Hesse and Me- 
lancthon The Landgrave gained over to the Gospel The Palatinate, Lune- 
burg, Holstein The Grand Master at Wittemberg. 

The Catholic League of Ratisbon and the persecutions which 
followed it, produced a powerful re- action in the population of Ger- 

1 Causa Dei est, cura Dei est, opus Dei est, victoria Dei est, gloria Dei est. (L. Ep. ii, 


many. The Germans were not disposed to allow themselves to be 
deprived of that word of God which had at length been restored to 
them. To the orders of Charles V, to the bulls of the pope, to the 
menaces and scaffolds of Ferdinand, and the other Catholic princes, 
their reply was, " We shall keep it." 

Scarcely had the leaguers left Ratisbon, when the deputies of the 
towns, whose bishops had taken part in this alliance, feeling surprised 
and indignant, met at Spires, and resolved that their preachers 
should, in spite of the bishops, preach the gospel and the gospel 
alone conformably to the doctrine of the prophets and apostles. 
They next proposed to present a firm and unanimous remonstrance, 
to the National Assembly. 

It is true, the imperial letter, dated from Burgos, arrived, and 
disturbed their thoughts. Nevertheless, towards the end of the 
year, the deputies bf these towns, and several of the nobles, met at 
Ulin, and took an oath of mutual defence, in the event of attack. 
Thus, to the camp formed by Austria, Bavaria, and the bishops, 
the free towns immediately opposed another, which raised the 
standard of the gospel and national freedom. 

While the free towns thus took the advanced posts of the Re 
formation, several princes were gained to the cause. Early in 
June, 1524, Melancthon was returning on horseback from a visit to 
his mother, accompanied by Camerarius and some other friends, 
when, near Frankfort, he fell in with a brilliant train. It was 
Philip of Hesse, who, three years before, had visited Luther at 
Worms, and who was now on his way to the games of Heidelberg, 
which were to be attended by all the princes of Germany. 

Thus Providence brought Philip successively into contact with 
the two Reformers. It was known that the distinguished doctor 
had gone on a visit to his native district, and one of the landgrave s 
knights said to him, "I believe it is Melancthon." The young prince 
immediately put spurs to his horse, and coming up to the doctor, 
said to him, "Are you Philip ? " U I am," replied the scholar, some 
what intimidated, and preparing respectfully to dismount. 1 * 4 Stay," 
said the prince, " turn round and come and spend the night with me, 
there are some subjects on which I wish to have a conversation 
with you ; fear nothing." " What could I fear from such a 
prince as you? " replied the doctor. ^ Ah ! Ah !" said the land 
grave laughing, " were I to take you away and give you up to 
Campeggio, he would not be sorry, I believe." The two Philips 
rode along side of each other. The prince put questions, and 
Melancthon answered. The landgrave was delighted with the 
clear and striking views presented to him. Melancthon at last 

1 Honoris causa de equo desceusurus. (Gamer., p. !> i.) 


begging he might be allowed to continue his journey, Philip of 
Hesse had difficulty in parting with him. " On one condition," 
said he, " and it is, that, on your return, you will write carefully 
on the subjects which we have been discussing, and send me the 
production." J Melancthon promised. u Go, then," said Philip, 
" and pass freely through rny states." 

Melaiicthon drew up, with his usual talent, " An Abridgement 
of the Revived Doctrine of Christianity " 2 This concise and power 
ful production made a decisive impression on the landgrave, who, 
shortly after his return from the Heidelberg games, without ac 
tually joining the free towns, issued an ordinance, in which, oppos 
ing the league of Ratisbon, he commanded that the gospel should 
be preached in all its purity. He himself embraced it with the 
energy of his character. " Sooner," exclaimed he, u abandon my 
body, aiid my life, my states, and my subjects, than the Word of 
God." A monk, the friar minor Ferber, perceiving the prince s 
leaning to the Reformation, wrote him a letter, reproaching 
him with his conduct, arid conjuring him to remain faithful to 
Rome. " I resolve," replied Philip, " to remain faithful to the 
ancient doctrine, but such as is contained in Scripture." Then 
he proved, with great force, that man is justified only by faith. 
The monk, astonished, held his peace. 3 The landgrave was called 
41 Melancthon s Scholar." * 

Other princes took a similar direction. The Elector Palatine, 
refused to lend himself to any persecution. The Duke of Lune- 
burg, nephew to the Elector of Saxony, began to reform his states, 
and the King of Denmark ordered, that in Schleswig and Holstein, 
every man should be free to worship God according to his con 

The Reformation made a still more important conquest. A 
prince, the important effects of whose conversion began at this 
time to turn away from Rome. One day, towards the end of June, 
shortly after Melancthon s return to Wittemberg, Luther s cham 
ber was entered by the grand master of the Teutonic Order, Albert, 
Margrave of Brandenburg. The chief of the chevalier monks o^ 
Germany, who was then in possession of Prussia, had gone to the 
Diet of Nuremberg to invoke the aid of the empire against Poland. 
He returned with a contrite heart. On the one hand, the sermons 
of Osiander and the reading of the gospel had convinced him that 
his condition of monk was contrary to the* Word of God ; on the 
other, the breaking up of the national government had taken away 

1 lit de quae.stionibus quas audisset moveri illiquid diligenter conscriptum cunuvt 
(Carner. p. 94.) a Epitome renovaUe ecclesiasticse dootriiue. 3 Seckend. p. 733. 

4 1 rinceps Hie disci pulus Philippi t uit a quibusdam appellatus. (Gamer, p. 95.J 


all hope of the assistance which he had gone to claim. What then 
will he do ? .... The Saxon Counsellor Planitz, with whom 
he quitted Nuremberg, asked him to visit the Reformer. " What 
think you of the rule of my order? " asked the disturbed and agitated 
prince at Luther. Luther hesitated not : he saw that a conduct 
conformable to the gospel could alone save Prussia also. " Im 
plore," said he to the grand master, " implore the help of God; re 
ject the absurd and incongruous rule of your order ; put an end 
to this abominable and truly hermaphrodite supremacy, which is 
neither religious nor secular. 1 Shun false and seek true chastity 
marry, and in place of this nameless monster found a lawful 
empire." 2 These words pointed out distinctly to the soul of the 
grand master a situation of which he had till then only had an 
imperfect glimpse. < A smile lighted up his features, but he had 
too much prudence to declare himself ; he held his peace. 3 Mel- 
ancthon, who was present, spoke in similar terms as Luther, and 
the prince departed for his states, leaving the Reformers in the 
belief that the seed which they had sown in his heart would one 
day bear fruit. 

Thus Charles V and the pope had opposed the national assem 
bly of Spires, from a fear that the Word of God might gain all 
who attended it ; but the Word of God could not be bound. It 
was prohibited to be preached in one of the halls of a town in 
the Low Palatinate. Well ! it had its revenge by diffusing itself 
throughout all the provinces. It aroused the people, enlightened 
princes, and, throughout the empire, displayed that divine power 
of which neither bulls nor ordinances could ever deprive it. 


Reformers The Church of All Saints FaU of the Mass Literature Christian 
Schools Seience offered to the Laity Arts Moral Religion, Esthetical Reli 
gion Mime Poetry Painting. 

While the people and their rulers were thus pressing toward 
the light the Reformers were striving to produce a general revi 
val, to penetrate the whole mass with the principles of Christianity. 
The form of worship first engaged their attention. The time fixed 
by the Reformer on his return from the Wartburg had arrived. 

1 Utlocoillius abominabilis principatus, qui hermaphrodita quidam. (L. Ep. ii, p 
927.) 2 Ut contempta ista stulta confusaque regula, uxorern ducertst. (Ibid.) 

* lila tarn wrist, sed uihil nwpoudit. (Ibid.) 


" Now," said he, " that men s hearts have been strengthened by 
divine grace, the scandals which polluted the Lord s kindgom 
must be made to disappear, and something must be attempted in 
the name of Jesus." He demanded that the communion should 
be dispensed in both kinds, that every thing should be retrenched 
from the Supper which tended to convert it into a sacrifice, 1 that 
Christian assemblies should never meet without hearing the Word 
preached, 2 that the faithful, or at least priests and students, should 
meet every morning at four or five o clock to read the Old, and 
eveiy evening, at five or six, to read the New Testament, that 
on Sunday, the whole Church should assemble, morning and after 
noon, and that the leading object in worship should be the preach 
ing of the Word. 3 

In particular, the church of All Saints, at Wittemberg, aroused 
his indignation. There 9,901 masses were annually celebrated, and 
35,570 pounds of wax burnt. So says Seckendorf. Luther called 
it a "sacrilegious Tophet." u There are," said he, " only three or four 
lazy bellies who still worship this shameful Mammon, and did I not 
restrain the people, this house of all Saints, or rather all devils, 
would long ago have made a noise in the world, the like of which 
was never heard." 

The struggle commenced around this church. It was like one of 
those ancient sanctuaries of Paganism in Egypt, Gaul, and Ger 
many, which behoved to fall, in order that Christianity might be 

Luther, desiring that the mass should be abolished in this 
cathedral, on the 1st March, 1523, addressed a first petition on 
the subject to the chapter; and, on the llth July, addressed a 
second. 4 The canons, in reply, urged the orders of the Elector, 
" What have we to do here," replied Luther, " with orders from 
the prince? He is a secular prince. His business is with the 
sword, and not with the ministry of the gospel." Luther here 
clearly draws the distinction between the Church and the State. 
u There is only one sacrifice," says he again, " which wipes away 
sins, Christ, who once offered himself, and we have faith in him, 
not by works or by sacrifices, but solely by faith in the Word of 

The Elector, who felt his end drawing near, was repugnant to new 
reforms. But new urgency was joined to that of Luther. Jonas, 
provost of the cathedral, thus addressed the Elector : " It is 
time to act. A manifestation of the gospel, so bright as that we 

i Weise christliche Messe zu halten. (L. Op. L. xxii, p. 232. 2 Die christliche 

Gemeine nimmer zoll zusammen kommen, es werde denn daselbst (*ottes Wort ge- 
prediget. (Ihid. p. 226.) 3 DassWort im Schwange gelie. (Ibid. p. 227.) 

* L. Ep. ii, p. 308, and 354. 


now have, usually lasts no longer than a ray of the sun. Let n?, 
therefore, make haste." l 

This letter of Jonas not having changed the Elector s views, 
Luther lost patience. He thought the moment to give the fatal 
blow had arrived, and addressed a threatening letter to the chapter. 
u I beg you amicably, and solicit you seriously, to put an end to 
all this sectarian worship. If yon refuse, you shall, by God s help, 
receive the recompense which you deserve. I say this for your 
guidance; arid I demand a distinct and immediate answer yes, 
or no before next Sunday, that I may know how to act. God 
grant you grace to follow his light. 


" Thursday, 8th Dec., 1524." " Preacher at Wittemberg." 2 

At the same time the rector, two burgomasters, and ten coun 
sellors, repaired to the dean, and solicited him, in the name of the 
university, the council, and the community of Wittemberg, "to 
abolish the great and horrible impiety committed against the 
divine majesty in the mass." 

The chapter was obliged to surrender. It declared that, en 
lightened by the Holy Word of God, 3 it acknowledged the abuses 
to which its attention had been directed, and published a new 
order of service, which began to be observed on Christmas, 1524. 

Thus fell the mass in this famous sanctuary, where it had so 
long withstood the reiterated assaults of the Reformers. The 
Elector Frederick, suffering under an attack of the gout, and drawing 
near his end, was not able, notwithstanding all his efforts, to prevent 
this great act of reformation. He saw the divine will in it, and 
yielded. The fall of the Roman observances in the church of All 
Saints, hastened their end in many of the churches of Christen 
dom. There was every where the same resistance, but there was 
also the same victory. In vain did priests, and in many places 
even princes, attempt to throw obstacles in the way ; they failed. 

But it was not worship merely that the Reformation had to 
change. She, at an early period, placed the school by the side of 
the Church ; and these two great institutions, mighty in regene 
rating nations, were equally revived by her. The Reformation, 
when she first appeared in the world, was intimately allied with liter-; 
ature ; and this alliance she forgot not in the day of her triumph. 

Christianity is not a mere development of Judaism. It doeft 
not try, as the papacy would fain do, to confine men again in! 
the swaddling bands of external ordinances and human doctrines. 
Christianity is a new creation; it seizes man within, and trans- 

i Corp. Reformat, i, p. 636. 2 L. Ep. ii, p. 565. Durch das Licht deJ 

heiliger Gbttlichlen Wortes . . . (L. Op. xviii.p. 502.) 


forms him in his inmost heart; so that he no longer has any need 
of rules from other men. Through the help of God, he can of him 
self and by himself, discern what is true, and do what is good. 1 

To conduct human nature to this state of independence which 
Christ has purchased for it, and deliver it from the nonage in 
which Rome had so long kept it, the Reformation behoved to 
develope the whole man, renewing his heart and his will by the 
Word of God, and enlightening his understanding by the study of 
sacred and profane literature. 

Luther understood this. He felt that, in order to secure the 
Reformation, it was necessary to work upon youth, to improve 
schools, and propagate in Christendom the knowledge necessary to 
a profound study of the Holy Scriptures. Accordingly, this was 
one of the objects of his life. He felt this, particularly at the 
period which we have now reached, and applied to the counsellors 
of all the towns of Germany for the foundation of Christian schools. 
41 Dear Sirs," said he to them, " so much money is annually ex 
pended on muskets, roads, and embankments, why should not a little 
be spent in giving poor youth one or two schoolmasters? God is 
knocking at our door ; happy are we if we open to him. The 
divine Word now abounds. O ! dear Germans, buy, buy, while 
the market is before your houses. The Word of God and its 
grace are like a wave which ebbs and goo 5 * away. It was with the 
Jews, but it has passed; and they no longer have it. Paul brought 
it to Greece, but it passed away ; and Greece now belongs to the 
Turk. It came to Rome and Latium, but thence too it has pass 
ed ; nnd Rome now has the pope. 2 Do not suppose you are to 
have this word for ever. The contempt shown for it will chase it 
away. W r herefore, let him who would have it seize it, and keep it. 

"Give attention to children," continues ho, still addressing 
magistrates, " for many parents are like ostriches ; they grow cal 
lous towards their young, and contented with having laid the 
egg, give themselves no farther trouble. The prosperity of a town 
consists, not merely in collecting great treasures, building strong 
walls, and erecting fine houses, and possessing brilliant armies. 
If fools come and pounce upon it, its misfortunes will then % only 
be the greater. The true good of a town, its safety and strength, 
is to have a great number of learned, serious, honest, and well- 
educated citizens. And whose fault is it, that at present the num 
ber of these is so small, if it is not yours, O, magistrates! who 
have allowed youth to grow up like grass in the forest? " 

Luther particularly insists on the study of literature and 
languages. " What use is there, it is asked, in learning Greek 

1 Hebrews, viii, 5, 11. * Aber bin ist bin ; sie haben nun den Papst. (L 

Op. W.x, p.535.) _ 




and Hebrew ? We can read the Bible in German." " Without 
languages," replies he, " we should not have received the gos 
pel .... Languages are the sheath which contains the sword of 
the Spirit ; 1 they are the casket which contains the jewels, the 
vessel which contains the liquor ; and as the gospel expresses it, 
they are the baskets in which are preserved the bread and fishes 
to feed the people. If we abandon languages, the result will be, 
that we shall not only lose the gospel, but also become unable to 
speak and write in Latin or in German. So soon as the culti 
vation of them ceases, the gospel is in decay, and ready to fall 
under the power of the pope. But now that languages are again 
in honour, they diffuse so much light, that the whole world is as 
tonished; and every one must confess that our gospel is almost as 
pure as that of the Apostles themselves. The holy fathers, in 
ancient times, were often mistaken, because they did not know 
languages; in our days, some, as the Vaudois of Piedmont, do not 
think languages useful; but though their doctrine is good, they 
often want the true meaning of the sacred text, they find them 
selves unarmed against error, and I much fear their faith will not 
remain pure. 2 Had not languages made me sure of the meaning 
of the Word, I might have been a pious monk, and have peaceably 
preached the truth in the obscurity of a cloister ; but I should 
have allowed the pope, sophists, and their antichristian empire to 
stand." 3 

Luther does not confine himself to the education of ecclesiastics ; 
he is desirous that knowledge should no longer be monopolised by 
the Church ; he proposes to give a share of it to the laity, who, 
till now, had been disinherited. He proposes that libraries should 
be established, and that they should not be confined to a collection 
of the editions of the schoolmen and fathers of the Church, but 
should also contain the works of orators and poets, even though 
they should be pagans, as well as works on the fine arts, law. 
medicine, and history. " These writings serve," says he, " to ex 
plain the works and miracles of God." 

This work of Luther is one of the most important which the 
Reformation has produced. It takes science out of the hands of 
the priests, who had monopolised it, like those of Egypt in ancient 
times, and restores it to all. From the impulse thus given by the 
Reformation, have proceeded the greatest developments of modern 
times. Those laymen, literary and learned, who now assail the 
Reformation, forget that they themselves are its work, and that 
without it they should still be placed, like ignorant children, under 

1 Die Spraciien sind die Scheide, darinnen dies Messer des Geistes stecket. (L,0p* 
W. x, p. 535.) 2 ES sey oder werde nicht lauter bleiben. (Ibid.) 9 .Icli. 

hatte wohl auch kbnuen fromm seyn und in der Stille recht predigen. (Ibid.) 


the rod of the clergy. The Reformation discerned the intimate 
union subsisting between all the sciences ; she was aware that, as 
all science comes from God, so it leads back to God. Her wish 
was that all should learn, and that they should learn all. u Those 
who despise profane literature," said Melancthon, u have no higher 
respect for sacred theology. Their contempt is only a pretext by 
which they try to hide their sloth." l 

The Reformation was not contented with giving a strong impulse 
to literature, she also gave a new impulse to the arts. Protestant 
ism is often charged with being inimical to the arts, and many 
Protestants readily admit the charge. We will not enquire 
whether or not the Reformation ought to prevail ; we will con 
tent ourselves with observing, that impartial history does not 
confirm the fact on which this accusation rests. Let Roman 
Catholicism plume itself on being more favourable to the arts than 
Protestantism all very well. Paganism was still more favour 
able to them ; and Protestantism places her fame on a different 
ground. There are religions in which the esthetical tenden 
cies of man occupy a more important place than his moral nature. 
Christian sentiment is expressed, not by the productions of the 
fine arts, but by the actings of Christian life. Every sect that aban 
dons the moral tendency of Christianity, thereby loses even its 
right to the Christian name. Rome has not abandoned this essen 
tial characteristic, but Protestantism preserves it in much greater 
purity. Its glory consists in the thorough investigation of what 
ever belongs to the moral being, and in judging of religious acts, 
not from their external beauty and the manner in which they strike 
the imagination, but according to their internal worth and the 
relation which they bear to the conscience ; so that, if the papacy 
is above all, as a distinguished writer has proved, 2 an esthetical 
religion, Protestantism is, above all, a moral religion. 

Still, although the Reformation addressed man primarily as a 
moral being, it addressed the whole man. We have just seen how 
it spoke to his understanding, and what it did for literature : it 
spoke also to his sensibility, his imagination, and contributed to 
the development of the arts. The Church was no longer composed 
merely of priests and monks ; it was the assembly of the faithful. 
All were to take part in worship ; and the hymns of the clergy were 
to be succeeded by those of the people. Accordingly, in translat 
ing the Psalms, Luther s object was to adapt them to the singing 
of the church. In this way a taste for music was diffused over 
the whole country. 

1 Hunc titulum ipiavise suse praetextunt. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 613.) 2 Chateau 

briand, Genie du Christianisme. 


" After theology," said Luther, "it is to music I give the first 
place and the highest honour. 1 A schoolmaster," he again said, 
44 must be able to sing; without it I will not even look at him." 

One day, when some tine pieces were sung to him, he rapturously 
exclaimed, " If our Lord God has conferred such admirable gifts 
on this earth, which is only an obscure recess, what will it be in 
the eternal life, in a state of perfection ! " . . . From the days 
of Luther the people sung ; the Bible inspired their hymns ; and 
the impulse given at the period of the lieformation, at a later 
period, produced those magnificent oratorios which seem to be the 
complete perfection of the art. 

The same impulse was given to poetry. It was impossible, in 
celebrating the praises of God, to be confined to mere translations 
of the ancient hymns. Luther s own soul, and that of several of 
his contemporaries, raised by faith to the sublimest thoughts, and 
excited to enthusiasm by the battles and perils which incessantly 
threatened the rising Church; inspired, in short, by the practical 
genius of the Old and the faith of the New Testament, soon gave 
utterance to their feelings in religious poems, in which poetry and 
music united and blended their holiest inspirations. Thus the six 
teenth century beheld the revival of that divine poetry, which, from 
the very first, had solaced the sufferings of the martyrs. We have 
already seen how, in 1523, Luther employed it in celebrating the 
martyrs of Brussels : other sons of the Reformation followed in his 
steps. Hymns were multiplied, and spreading rapidly among the 
people, contributed powerfully to awaken them from their slumbers. 
It was in this same year that Hans Sach sung The Nightingale of 
Wittemberg. The doctrine which, for four centuries had reigned in 
the Church, he regards as the moonlight, during which men wan 
dered in the desert. The nightingale now announces the sun, and 
singing to the light of clay, rises above the clouds of the morning. 

While lyric poetry thus arose from the highest inspirations of 
the Reformation, satire and the drama, under the pen of Hutten, 
Miirner, and Manuel attacked the most crying abuses. 

It is to the Reformation that the great poets of England, Ger 
many, and perhaps France, owe their lofty ilight. 

Of all the arts, painting is the one on which the Reformation had 
the least influence. Nevertheless it was renewed, and in a manner 
sanctified, by the universal movement which then agitated all the 
powers of the human mind. The great master of this period, 
Lucas Cranach, fixed his residence at Wittemberg, where he lived 
on intimate terms with Luther, arid became the painter of the 

1 Teh p-phe nnch der Tlieologie, der Musica den nahesten Locum und hbchste Ehre 
(L. Op. W. xxii, p. 2253.) 



Reformation. We have seen bow he represented the contrasts 
between Christ and antichrist (the pope), and thus gained a place 
among the most powerful instruments of the revolution which was 
transforming the nations. As soon as he had acquired new con 
victions, he consecrated his chaste pencil to drawings in harmony 
with Christian belief, and shed on groups of children, blessed by 
the Saviour, the grace with which he had previously adorned legend 
ary saints, male and female. Albert Durer was also won by the 
preaching of the Word, and his genius took a new flight. His 
master-pieces date from this period. From the features with 
which, from that period, he painted the Evangelists and Apostles, 
we see that the Bible was restored to the people, and that from it 
the painter drew a depth, a force, a life, and grandeur, which he 
never could have found in himself. 1 

Still, however, it must be acknowledged, painting is the art whose 
religious influence is most liable to strong and well-founded objec 
tions. Poetry and music came from heaven, and will again be found 
in heaven ; but painting is constantly seen united to grave im 
moralities or fatal errors. After studying history, or seeing Italy, 
we are made aware that humanity has little to expect from that 
art. But whatever may be thought of this exception which we 
have, thought it our duty to make, our general remark holds true. 

The Reformation of Germany, while making its first address to 
the moral nature of man, has given to the arts an impulse which 
they could not have received from Roman Catholicism. 

Thus, there was a universal progress in literature and the arts, in 
spirituality of worship, in the souls of nations and their rulers. But 
this magnificent harmony, which the gospel every where produced 
in the days of its revival, was about to be disturbed. The song of 
the Nightingale of Wittemberg was to be interrupted by the hissing 
of the storm and the roaring of the lions. A cloud, in one moment, 
spread over Germany, and a lovely day was succeeded by a dismal 


Political ferment Luther against Revolution Thomas Munzer Agitation The 
Black Forest The Twelve Articles Luther s Advice Helfenstein Advance of 
the peasants Advance of the imperial army Defeat of the peasants Cruelty of 
the princes. 

A political fermentation, one very different from that which the 
gospel produces, had long been working in the empire. Borne down 

1 Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte, ii. p. 85. 


by civil and ecclesiastical oppression, bound in several countries to 
the baronial lands, and sold along with them, the people threatened 
to rise in fury, and burst their chains. This agitation had been 
manifested long before the Keformation by several symptoms, and 
thenceforth religion had been blended with political elements. It 
was impossible, in the 16th century, to separate these two prin 
ciples so intimately associated in the life of nations. In Holland, 
at the end of the previous century, the peasantry had risen up, 
placing on their colours, as a kind of armorial bearings, bread and 
cheese, the two great blessings of these poor people. " The shoe 
alliance" had shown itself in the neighbourhood of Spires, in 1503. 
In 1513, it had been renewed at Brisgau, and been encouraged by 
priests. In 1514, Wurtemburg had witnessed " the league of 
poor Conrad," the object of which was to maintain, by revolt, " the 
rights of God." In- 1515, Carinthia and Hungary had been the 
theatre of dreadful commotions. These seditions had been sup 
pressed by torrents of blood ; but no redress had been given to the 
people. A political reform was, therefore, no less necessary than 
a religious reform. The people were entitled to it; but it must be 
confessed they were not ripe for enjoying it. 

Since the Reformation had commenced these popular agitations 
had been renewed ; the minds of men had been absorbed by other 
thoughts. Luther, whose piercing eye discerned the condition 
of his countrymen, had, even from the height of the Wartburg, 
addressed grave exhortations for the purpose of keeping down 

" Revolt," he had said, " does not produce the amelioration 
which is desired, and God condemns it. What is revolt but taking 
vengeance into our own hands? The devil is labouring to excite 
those who embrace the gospel to revolt in order to bring it into 
reproach, but those who have perfectly understood my doctrine do 
not revolt." 1 

Every thing gave reason to fear that the popular indignation 
could not be much longer restrained. The government which Fre 
derick of Saxony had had so much difficulty in forming, and which 
possessed the confidence of the nation, was dissolved. The em 
peror, whose energy might, perhaps, have supplied the want of 
this national administration, was absent ; the princes, whose union 
had always constituted the strength of Germany, were divided ; 
and the new declaration of Charles V against Luther, in taking 
away all hope of future harmony, deprived the Reformer of a por 
tion of the moral authority, by which, in 1522, he had succeeded 

1 Luther s treue Ermahnung an alle Christen sich vor Aufruhr und Empbrung zu 
hiiten. (L. Op. xviii, p. 288.) 


in calming the storm. The principal embankments which had 
hitherto confined the torrent were broken down, and nothing could 
restrain its fury. 

The religious movement did not produce the political agitation, 
but in several places it allowed itself to be borne along by its 
tumultuous waves. Perhaps even more should be conceded ; it is, 
perhaps, necessary to admit that the movement given to the peo 
ple by the Reformation gave new force to the discontent which 
was prevailing in the nation. The violence of Luther s writings, 
the intrepidity of his actions and his words, the harsh truths which 
he told, not only to the pope and the prelates, but also to princes 
themselves, must have contributed to inflame minds already in a 
state of effervescence. Accordingly Erasmus did not omit to tell 
him, " We are now gathering the fruits that you have sown." * 
Moreover, the gladsome truths of the gospel now at length brought 
fully to light, stirred all hearts, and filled them with hope and ex 
pectation. But many unregenerate souls remained unprepared by 
Christian repentance, faith, and freedom. They wished indeed to 
reject the yoke of the pope, but they wished not to accept the yoke 
of Christ. Accordingly, when princes devoted to Rome, sought, 
in their wrath, to stifle the Reformation, though true Christians 
knew how to bear these cruel persecutions with patience, the mul 
titude fumed and broke out. Seeing their wishes pent in in one 
direction, they procured an outlet for them in another. " Why," 
said they, " when the Church calls all men to a noble freedom, why 
Should slavery be perpetuated in the state? Why, when the gos 
pel speaks only of meekness, should government reign only by 
force? " Unhappily at the time when religious reform was received 
with equal joy by princes and people, political reform, on the con 
trary, was opposed by the most powerful portion of the nation ; 
while the former had the gospel for its rule and support, the latter 
had no other principles than violence and despotism. Accordingly, 
while the one kept within the limits of truth, the other, like an 
impetuous torrent, quickly overlept these, and also those of justice. 
B t to attempt not to see an indirect influence of the Reformation 
in the disturbances which broke out in the empire, were, in my 
opinion, to give proof of partiality. By means of religious discus 
sions a fire had been kindled in Germany, and it was impossible 
that some sparks should not fly off from it, of a nature fitted to 
inflame the passions of the people. 

The pretensions of some fanatics to heavenly inspiration, aug 
mented the evil. While the Reformation had constantly appealed 
from the pretended authority of the Church to the real authority of 

1 Hubemus fructum tui spiritus. (Erasm. Hyperasp. b. 4 J 


Scripture, these enthusiasts rejected not only the authority of the 
Church, but also that of Scripture. They spoke only of an internal 
word, of a revelation of God within, and overlooking the natural 
corruption of their heart, they gave themselves up to all the intoxi 
cation of spiritual pride, and imagined themselves to be saints. 

"To them," says Luther, u the Holy Scripture was only a dead 
letter, and all began to cry Spirit! Spirit! But, assuredly, I will 
not follow where their spirit leads them. May God, in his mercy, 
preserve me from a Church where there are none but saints. 1 
I wish to remain where the humble, feeble, and sickly are who 
know and feel their sin, and who, without ceasing, sigh and cry to 
God from the bottom of their heart to obtain his consolation and 
assistance." These words of Luther are profound, and mark the 
change which was taking place in his views as to the nature of the 
Church. They show, at the same time, how much the religious 
principles of the revolters were opposed to the Reformation. 

The most remarkable of these enthusiasts was Thomas Munzer. 
He was not without talents, had read the Bible, was zealous, and 
might have been able to do good, if he had known how to collect 
his agitated thoughts, and find peace of heart. But not knowing 
himself, and being void of true humility, he was possessed with a 
desire to reform the world, and, like all enthusiasts, forgot that 
reform ought to begin at himself. Mystical treatises which he had 
read in his youth had given a false direction to his mind. He 
first appeared at Zwickau, quitted Wittemberg after Luther s 
return, discontented with the inferior part he was playing there, 
and became pastor of the small town of Alstadt in Thuringia. 
Here he could not long remain quiet. He accused the Reformers of 
founding, by their attachment to the letter, a new papism, and of 
founding churches which were not pure and holy. 

14 Luther," said he, " has delivered consciences from the yoke of 
the pope ; but he has left them in a carnal freedom, and has not 
carried them forward in spirit toward God." 2 

He thought himself called by God to remedy this great evil. 
According- to him the revelations of the Spirit were the means by 
which his reform was to be accomplished. " He who possesses this 
Spirit," said he, " has true faith, even though he should never in 
his life see the Holy Scriptures. Pagans and Turks are uioro 
proper to receive it than many Christians who call us enthusiasts. 1 
When he thus spoke he had Luther in his eye. kk In order to 
receive this Spirit," added he, "it is necessary to mortify the body, 

* I)er barmherzige Gott berhiite inich ja fur der Christlichen Kirche, daren eitel 
lieUi^e sind. (On John, i, 2. L. Op. (W.) vii, p. 1469.) a Fuhrete sienicbt weitei 

iu Gust uud zu tiott. (L, Op. xix, p. 2SH.) 


wear shabby clothes, let the beard grow, have a gloomy air, keep 
silence, 1 frequent retired spots, and beg God to give us a sign of his 
favour. Then God will come and speak with us as he once did 
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Did He not do so, it would not 
be worth men s while to pay any attention to him. 2 I have 
received a commission from God to assemble his elect in a holy and 
eternal alliance." 

The agitation and ferment working in men s minds, were only 
too favourable to the propagation of then- enthusiastic ideas. Man 
loves the marvellous, and every thing that flatters his pride. 
Mu nzer, having drawn a portion of his flock into his views, 
abolished church music, and all ceremonies. He maintained, that, 
to obey princes, " devoid of reason," was to serve God and Mam 
mon. Then, marching at the head of his parishioners to a chapel 
near Alstadt, and which was resorted to by pilgrims frpm all 
quarters, he threw it down. Obliged, after this exploit, to flee the 
country, he wandered up and down in Germany, and went as far 
as Switzerland, carrying with him, and communicating to all who 
would listen to him, the plan of a universal revolution. He every 
where found men s minds prepared ; he threw gunpowder on burning 
coals, and a violent explosion was the immediate result. 

Luther, who had repelled the warlike enterprises of Sickingen, 3 
could not allow himself to be carried away by the tumultuous 
movements of the peasantry. Happily, for social order, the gospel 
had him in charge ; for what might have happened had he given 
his vast influence to their camp ? . . . . He always firmly main 
tained the distinction between spiritual and secular ; he ceased not 
to repeat, that what Christ emancipated by his Word was immortal 
souls, and, while with one hand he attacked the authority of the 
Church, he with the other equally maintained the power of princes. 
"A Christian," said he, "must endure death a hundred times 
sooner than give the least countenance to the revolt of the peasants." 
In a letter to the Elector, he says, "What particularly delights me 
is, that these enthusiasts make a boast to every one who listens to 
them, that they are not of us. They say it is the Spirit that prompts 
them. But I reply, It is a bad spirit that bears no other fruit 
than the pillaging of convents and churches : the greatest robbers 
on the face of the earth can do as much." 

At the same time Luther, who wished others to have the same 
liberty that he desired for himself, dissuaded the prince from 
rigorous measures. " Let them preach as they will, and against 

1 Saur sehen, den Bart nicht abschneiden. (L. Op. xix, p. 294.) a Munzrr 

expression is low ;md profane: Er wollt in Gott Rc:>eissen went er nicht mit Him 
rciiut, vie mit Abraham. (His.Munzer by Melaucthon. Ibid., u. 2i)&.) s First 

Volume, Book i. 


whomsoever they see it good ; for it is necessary that the Word of 
God itself should lead the van and give them battle. If theirs is the 
true Spirit, he will not fear our severities : if ours is the true, he 
will not fear their violence. Let us leave the spirits to struggle 
and fight with each other. 1 Some perhaps will be seduced, as 
there is no battle without wounds ; but he who fights faithfully 
will be crowned. Nevertheless, if they will take the sword, your 
highness must forbid it, and order them to quit the country." 

The revolt broke out in the districts of the Black Forest, and the 
sources of the Danube, which had so often been agitated by popular 
commotions. On the 19th July, 1524, some Thurgovian peasants 
rose up against the Abbot of Keichenau, who refused to give them 
an evangelical preacher. Thousands were soon assembled around 
the little town of Tengen, for the rescue of an ecclesiastic who was 
kept prisoner. The revolt spread with inconceivable rapidity from 
Suabia, as far as the countries of the Rhine, Franconia, Thuringia, 
and Saxony. All these countries had risen in January, 1525. 

Towards the end of this month, the peasants published a declara 
tion in twelve articles, in which they demanded liberty to choose 
their own pastors, the abolition of small tithes and villanage, the 
taxes on heritage, liberty of hunting, fishing, and cutting wood. 
Each demand was supported by a quotation from Scripture. "If 
we are mistaken," said they in conclusion, " Luther can put us right 
by Scripture." 

The opinions of the Wittemberg theologians were asked. Luther 
and Melancthon gave theirs each separately. They are very 
characteristic. Melancthon, who regarded every kind of disturb 
ance as a great crime, oversteps his usual gentleness, and cannot 
give strong enough expression to his indignation. The peasants 
are criminals, against whom he invokes all laws, human and divine. 
If friendly conference proves ineffectual, the magistrates must pursue 
them as robbers and assassins. " However," he adds, (and it was 
indeed necessary that some one trait should remind us of Melanc 
thon) let there be pity shown to orphans in inflicting the punish 
ment of death." 

Luther s opinion of the revolt was the same as Melancthon s ; 
bat he had a heart which beat at the wretchedness of the people. 
He, on this occasion, showed a lofty impartiality, and told the truth 
frankly to both parties. He first addressed the princes, and more 
especially the bishops : 

"You," said he to them, " are the cause of the revolt. Your 
invectives against the gospel, your culpable oppression of the little 
ones of the Church, have brought the people to despair. It is not 

i Mau laase die Geister auf platzen und treffen. (L. Ep. ii. p. 547.) 


the peasants, dear lords, who rise up against you ; it is God him 
self who wishes to oppose your fury. 1 The peasants are only the 
instruments whom he is employing to humble you. Think not to 
escape the punishment which he is preparing for you. Even should 
you succeed in destroying all these peasants, God would of the very 
stones raise up new ones to chastise your pride. If I wished 
revenge, I would laugh in my sleeve look on while, the peasants 
act or even stimulate their rage ; but God forbid ! . ... Dear 
lords, for the love of God, lay aside your indignation, treat the 
poor people with discretion as you would persons drunk and bewil 
dered. Suppress these commotions by gentleness, lest a conflagra 
tion break forth, and set all Germany in a blaze. Among their 
twelve articles are some which are just and equitable." 

This exordium was fitted to gain the confidence of the pea 
sants, and make them listen patiently to the truths which he 
had to tell them. He represented to them that a great part of 
then* demands were doubtless well founded ; but that to revolt was 
to act like pagans that the duty of Christians was patience, and 
not war and that, if they continued to rise in the name of the 
gospel, against the gospel itself, he would regard them as more 
dangerous enemies than the pope. u The pope and the emperor," 
continued he, "have united against me; but the more the pope 
and the emperor have stormed, the greater the progress which the 
gospel has made .... Why so ? Because I have never drawn 
the sword, nor called for vengeance because I have not had 
recourse either to tumult or revolt. I have committed all to God, 
and awaited his strong hand. It is neither with the sword nor the 
musket that Christians fight, but with suifering and the cross. 
Christ, their captain, did not handle the sword : he hung upon the 

But in vain did Luther give utterance to these most Christian 
expressions. The people were too much excited by the fanatical 
discourses of the leaders of the revolt to lend then- ear as formerly 
to the Kefonner. " He is playing the hypocrite," they said : "he 
is flattering the princes. He has waged war with the pope, and yet 
he would have us to submit to our oppressors !" 

The revolt, instead of being calmed, became more formidable. 
At Weinsberg, Count Louis of Helfenstein, and seventy men under 
his command, were condemned to death. A party of peasants held 
their pikes before them in close phalanx ; others chased and drove 
back the count and his soldiers on this bristling forest. 2 The wife of 
the unhappy Helfenstein, a natural daughter of the Emperor Maxi- 

1 Gott iats selbev der sebtz sich wider euch. (L. Op. xrx, p. 254. 

2 Und jechten pin Gra^on rhiroh die Spiessc. (MalttieMiis. p. 46.) 


milian, with an infant of two years old in her arms, fell on her knees, 
and, with loud cries, implored the life of her husband, and endea 
voured to stop the murderous band ; a young boy, who had been 
in the service of the count, and had joined the rebels, capered near 
him, playing the dead march on a fife, as if the victims had been 
dancing to it. All perished : the child was wounded in its mother s 
arms, and she herself was thrown on a dung cart, and so taken to 

On hearing of these cruelties, a cry of horror was heard among 
the friends of the Reformation, and a fearful struggle took place in 
Luther s feeling heart. On the one hand the peasants, deriding his 
representations, pretended to revelations from heaven, made an 
impious use of the threatenings of the Old Testament, proclaimed 
the equality of ranks, and a community of goods, defended their 
cause with fire ancl sword, and had recourse to barbarous execu 
tions. On the other hand, the enemies of the Reformation asked 
the Reformer with a malignant smile, if he did not know that 
it was easier to kindle a fire than to extinguish it ? Indignant 
at their excesses alarmed at the thought that they might arrest 
the progress of the gospel Luther no longer hesitated ; all delicacy 
was at an end ; he broke loose against the rebels with all the 
force of his character, and, perhaps, exceeded the just limits within 
which he ought to have confined himself. 

"The peasants," said he, "commit these horrible sins towards 
God and towards men, ancl, by so doing, deserve the death both of 
the body and the soul. First, they revolt against the magistrates 
to whom they have sworn fidelity. Next, they rob and pillage 
convents and castles. Last of all, they cloak their crimes with the 
mantle of the gospel. If you do not put a mad dog to death you 
will perish yourself, and the whole country with you. He who is 
slain in fighting for magistrates will be a true martyr, if he has 
fought with a good conscience. Luther afterwards gives an ener 
getic picture of the culpable violence of the peasantry in compelling 
simple and peaceful men to enter their alliance, and so drag them 
into the same condemnation. He then adds, " Wherefore, dear 
lords, aid, save, deliver, have pity on these poor people. Strike, 
stab, and kill who can .... If you die you cannot have a hap 
pier end, for you die in the service of God, and to save your neigh 
bour from hell." 1 

Neither gentleness nor force could arrest the popular torrent. 
It was no longer for divine service that the church bell sounded ; 
whenever its grave and solemn sounds were heard rising from the 

1 Deinen Nehesten zu retten am der Holle. (L. O|>. xix, p. 266.) 


plains, it was the tocsin, and all rushed to arms. The people of the 
Black Forest had mustered around John Muller of Bulgenbach. 
Of an imposing appearance, clothed in a red mantle, and with a red 
bonnet on his head, this leader paraded proudly from village to 
village, followed by his peasants. Behind him on a car, adorned 
with ribbons and branches of trees, waved the three-coloured flag, 
black, red, and white, the signal of revolt. A herald, decked in the 
same colours, read the twelve articles, and called on the people to 
join the movement. Whoever refused was excluded from the com 

This procession, which was at first peaceable, soon became more 
restless. "The barons," they exclaimed, "must be forced to join 
the alliance." And, to bring them to this, they pillaged their gran 
aries, emptied their wine cellars, fished the baronial ponds, laid 
the castles of those nobles who resisted them in ruins, and burned 
convents. Eesistance inflamed the rage of these rude men. Equality 
no longer satisfied them : they would have blood ; and vowed that 
eveiy man who wore a spur should bite the dust. 

On the approach of the peasants, the towns, unable to resist, 
opened their gates and joined the rebels. In every place they 
entered, pictures were torn, and crucifixes broken to pieces. Armed 
females ran up and down the streets threatening the monks. 
When defeated in one place, they again mustered in another, and 
defied the most formidable armies and bodies of troops. A 
committee of peasants was established at Heilbronn. The Counts 
of Lowenstein being captured, were clothed in a white frock, with a 
white baton in their hands, and made to swear to the twelve articles. 
Brother George, and you brother Albert, said a tinker to the 
Counts of Hohenloe, who had repaired to the camp, " Swear to con 
duct us as brethren ; for you also are now peasants : you are no longer 
lords." The equality of ranks, that dream of all democrats, was 
established in aristocratic Germany. 

A great number of nobles, some from fear and others from am 
bition, now joined the revolters. The famous Gb tz of Berlichingen, 
when he saw his people refuse to obey him, wished to fly to the 
Elector of Saxony ; but his wife, who was in childbed, in order to 
keep him near her concealed the Elector s reply. Gb tz, almost 
hemmed in, was obliged to place himself at the head of the rebellious 
host. On the 7th May, the peasants entered Wurtzburg, and were 
received by the citizens with acclamation. The troops of the 
princes and knights of Suabia, who had assembled in this town, 
evacuated it, and retired in haste to the citadel, the last rampart 
of the nobility. 

But the movement had already extended to other parts of Ger- 


many. Spires, the Palatinate, Alsace, and Hesse, acknowledged 
the twelve articles, and the peasants threatened Bavaria, West 
phalia, the Tyrol, Saxony, and Lorraine. The Margrave of Baden, 
having refused the articles, was obliged to flee. The coadjutor or 
Fuldah acceded to them, laughing. The small towns said that they 
had no lances to oppose to the revolters. Mentz, Treves, and 
Frankfort, obtained the liberties which they claimed. 

An immense revolution is taking place throughout the empire. 
The ecclesiastical and secular taxes which oppress the peasants, must 
be suppressed, the property of the clergy will be secularised to 
compensate the princes, and provide for the wants of the empire ; 
imposts must be abolished, with the exception of a tribute, which 
will be paid every ten years ; the governing power, recognised by 
the New Testament, will alone subsist ; all other princes will cease 
to reign ; sixty-fouf free tribunals will be established, and men of all 
classes will have seats in them ; alt states will return to their primitive 
destination; ecclesiastics will, henceforth, only be pastors of churches; 
princes and knights will only be defenders of the weak ; unity of 
weights and measures will be introduced ; and only one species of 
money will be coined throughout the empire. 

Meanwhile, the princes had recovered from their first stupor, and 
George of Truchsess, general-in-chief of the imperial army, was ad 
vancing from the direction of the Lake of Constance. He defeated 
the peasants on the 2nd of May, at Beblingen, marched on the town 
of Weinsberg, where the unfortunate Hclfenstein had perished, and 
burnt and razed it, ordering the ruins to be kept up as an eternal 
memorial of the treachery of the inhabitants. At Fiirfeld, he joined 
the Elector Palatine and the Elector of Treves, and they all advanced 
in a body towards Franconia. 

Frauenburg, the citadel of Wurtzburg, still held out for the princes, 
and the grand army of the peasants continued under its walls. 
On learning the approach of Truchsess, they determined on the. 
assault, and on the 15th of May, at nine in the evening, the trum 
pets sounded, the three-coloured flag was unfurled, and the peasants 
rushed to the attack, uttering fearful cries. Sebastian of Rotenhan, 
one of the warmest friends of the Reformation, had the command of 
the castle. He had placed the defence on a formidable footing, and 
when he exhorted the soldiers courageously to repel the assault, all 
had sworn to do so, by raising three of their fingers to heaven. 
The most dreadful combat then took place. The energy and despair 
of the peasants was answered by the fortress with petards, showers 
of sulphur and boiling pitch, and discharges of artillery. The 
peasants thus struck by invisible enemies, were for a moment 
surprised, but their fury soon increased. Night advanced, and the 


struggle was prolonged. The fortress, lighted up by thousands of 
battle fires, seemed, amid the darkness, like a proud giant, vomiting 
flames, and single-handed amidst the cannons roar struggling for the 
safety of the empire, against the ferocious valour of savage hordes. 
Two hours after midnight the peasants, having failed in all their 
eiforts, at last withdrew. 

They proposed to negotiate either with the garrison or with 
Truchsess, who was advancing at the head of his army. But this 
was to abandon their position. Violence and victory alone could save 
them. After some irresolution, they determined to set out and 
meet the imperial army ; but the artillery and the cavalry made 
frightful ravages in their ranks. At Konigshofen and next at Engel- 
stadt these poor creatures were completely defeated. The princes, 
nobles, and bishops, abusing their victory, displayed unheard-of 
cruelty. The prisoners were hung up along the roads. The 
bishop of Wurtzburg, who had fled, returned, and going over his 
whole diocese with executioners, watered it at once with the blood 
of rebels, and the blood of the peaceable friends of the Word of 
God. Gotz of Berlichingen was condemned to perpetual imprison 
ment. The Margrave Casimir, of Anspach, put out the eyes of 
eighty-five peasants, who had sworn that they would never 
again look upon this prince, and cast upon the world this 
band of blind men, who went up and down holding each other by 
the hand, feeling their way, stumbling and begging their bread. 
The wretched boy, who had played the death march of Helfenstein, 
was chained to a stake, a fire was kindled around him, and the 
knights stood by laughing at his horrible contortions. 

The ritual was every where established in its ancient form. The 
most flourishing and populous countries of the empire now pre 
sented to the traveller only heaps of carcases and smoking ruins. 
Fifty thousand men had perished, and the people almost every where 
lost the little freedom which they had hitherto enjoyed. Such was, 
in the south of Germany, the fearful end of this revolt. 


Miinzer at Mulhausen Appeal to the People March of the Princes End ol tne 
Revolt Influence of the Reformers Sufferings Change. 

But the evil was not confined to the south and west of Germany. 
Miinzer, after traversing part of Switzerland, Alsace, and Suabia, 


had again directed his steps towards Saxony. Some citizens of 
Mulhausen invited him into their town, and appointed him their 
pastor. The town council having resisted, Miinzer deposed it, and 
named another, composed of his friends, with himself at their head. 
Entertaining the utmost contempt for the Christ, u sweet as 
honey whom Luther preached," he determined to have recourse to the 
most energetic measures. " It is necessary," said he, "to make all 
the nations of Canaan perish by the sword, as Joshua did." He 
established a community of goods, and pillaged the convents. 1 
Luther, llth April, 1525, wrote to Amsdorff, " Miinzer is King 
and Emperor of Mulhausen, and no longer merely its pastor." The 
poor no longer worked ; if any one needed cloth or corn, he went 
and asked it of some rich neighbour; if refused, the poor man 
seized it ; if the ricJi man resisted, he was hung. Mulhausen being 
an independent town, Miinzer was able to exercise his power with 
out opposition almost for a year. The revolt of the south of Ger 
many led him to believe that it was time to extend his new kingdom. 
He caused cannon of large calibre to be cast in the Franciscan con 
vent, and endeavoured to make a rise among the peasants and the 
miners of Mansfeld. " How long will you still sleep?" said he to them 
in a fanatical proclamation, "rise and fight for the Lord! It is time. 
France, Germany, and Italy are on the march. On ! on ! on ! Dran ( 
dran ! dran ! Pay no regard to the distress of the ungodly. They 
will beseech you like children, but remain pitiless. Dran! dran! 
dran! Thefire burns. Let your sword be always reeking with blood. 2 
Dran ! dran ! dran ! Work while it is day." The letter was signed, 
" Miinzer, servant of God against the ungodly." 

The country people, eager for plunder, flocked to his banners. 
Every where, in the districts of Mansfeld, Stolberg, Schwarzberg, 
in Hesse, the Duchy of Brunswick, the peasants rose. The con 
vents of Michelstein, Ilsenburg, Walkenried, Rossleben, and 
many others near the Hartz, or in the plains of Thuringia, were 
completely pillaged. At Reinhardsbrunn, which Luther had 
visited, the tombs of the ancient landgraves were profaned, and 
the library destroyed. 

Terror spread far and wide. At Wittemberg even some uneasi 
ness was felt. These teachers who had not feared either the em 
peror or the pope, saw themselves obliged to tremble before?a mad 
man. They were constantly looking out for the news, and counted 
every step of the revolters. " We are here," said Melancthon, 
"in great danger. If Miinzer succeeds it is all over with us, tit 
least if Christ do not save us. Mtinzer advances with a cruelty 

1 Omnia simul communia. (L. Op. xix, p. 292.) 2 Lasset euer Sr.hwenU 

uicht kalt werden von Blut. (Ibid., p. 28!>.) 


worse than that of the Scythians, 1 and it is impossible to mouth 
the atrocious menaces which he throws out." 

The pious Elector had long hesitated as to the course he ought 
to pursue. Miinzer had exhorted him, him and all princes to be 
converted, " because," as he said, " their hour was come ; " and 
he had signed his letters, " Miinzer, armed with the sword of 
Gideon." Frederick had been desirous to bring back these bewil 
dered men by gentleness. When dangerously ill, he- had written 
on the 14th April, to his brother John, " Perhaps these poor 
people have had more than one ground for revolt. Ah, the poor 
are oppressed in many ways by their temporal and spiritual lords." 
And when lie was reminded of the humiliation, revolutions, and 
dangers to which he was exposed if he did not powerfully suppress 
the rebellion, he replied, " Hitherto I have been a powerful 
Elector, having horses and carriages in abundance ; if it is now the 
Lord s will to take them from me, I will walk on foot." 2 

The first of the princes who had recourse to arms was the young 
landgrave, Philip of Hesse. His knights and soldiers vowed to 
live and die with him. After pacifying his own States, he directed 
liis course towards Saxony. Duke John, the Elector s brother, 
Duke George of Saxony, and Duke Henry of Brunswick, advanced 
in the other direction, and united their forces with those of Hesse. 
The peasants frightened at the sight of this army, took refuge on 
a hill, where, without discipline, without armour, and the greater 
part without courage, they made a rampart of their waggons. 
Miinzer did not even know how to prepare powder for his immense 
camion. No assistance appeared. The army hemmed in the rebels 
who began to despond. The princes taking pity on them offered 
conditions, which they seemed disposed to accept, when Miinzer 
betook himself to the most powerful instrument which enthusiasm 
can bring into play. u To-day," said he, u we shall see the arm 
of the Lord, and all our enemies will be destroyed." At that mo 
ment a rainbow appeared, and Miinzer took advantage of it. 
* Fear not," said he to the burghers and peasants, " I will receive 
all the bullets which will be shot at you in my sleeve." 3 At the 
same time he ordered a young gentleman, Maternus of Geholfen, an 
envoy of the princes, to be cruelly murdered, that he might in this 
way deprive the rebels of all hope of pardon. 

The landgrave having assembled his troops, said to them, " I 
know well that we princes are often in fault, for we are men ; but 
it is God s pleasure that princes be honoured. Let us save our 

1 Moncerus i,lus qnam Scythiam crudelitatem prse se fert. (Corp. Ref.. i, p. 741.) 

2 So wolle er hinkiinftig KU. fuss gehen. (3ec-k., p. 685.) 3 i), r so u t Be hen dass 
"h alle Buchsensteine in Errnel fasseii will. ( I. Op. xix, 2y7.) 


wives and our children from the fury of these murderers. The 
Lord will give us the victory; for he has said, u He who resists 
the power resists the ordinance of God" Philip then gave the 
signal for attack. This was on the 15th May, 1525. The army 
moved forward ; but the crowd of peasants remained immovable, 
singing the hymn, " Come Holy Spirit, " and waiting till heaven should 
declare in their favour. The artillery soon broke the main body, 
carrying death and consternation into the midst of them. Their 
fanaticism and courage at once forsook them they were seized 
with a panic, and fled in disorder. Five thousand perished in the 
flight. After the battle, the princes and their victorious troops 
entered Frankeuhausen. A soldier having gone up to the loft 
of the house where he was quartered, found a man in bed. 1 
" Who are you?" said he to him. "Are you a rebel? " Then 
having discovered a portfolio, he took it, and found letters in it 
addressed to Thomas Miinzer. " Are you Thomas," said the 
trooper. The sick man, in consternation, said, " No." But th$ 
soldier using dreadful threats, Miinzer, (for it was indeed he) 
confessed who he was. " You are my prisoner," said the soldier. 
Being taken before Duke George and the landgrave, Miinzer 
ended by saying that he had done right in trying to chastise the 
princes since they opposed the gospel. " Wretch," said they to 
him, u think of all those whose destruction you have caused." 
But he replied with a smile, in the midst of his anguish, " They 
would have it so." He received the sacrament under one kind, 
and was beheaded along with Pfeiffer his lieutenant. Mulhausen 
was taken, and the peasants were loaded with chains. 

A noble having observed in the crowd of prisoners a peasant of 
good appearance, approached him, and said, "Well, my lad, which 
government pleases you best that of peasants or that of princes? " 
The poor man replied with a sigh, " Ah, my lord, there is no knife 
whose blade cuts so keenly as the tyranny of one peasant over 
another." 2 

The remains of the revolt were extinguished in blood. Duke 
George, in particular, displayed great severity. In the States of 
the Elector there was neither punishment nor execution. 3 The 
Word of God, preached in all its purity, had shown its efficacy in 
restraining the tumultuous passions of the people. 

In fact, Luther had never ceased to combat the rebellion, which he- 
regarded as the forerunner of the universal judgment. He had 
spared nothing instruction, entreaty, not even irony. At the end of 

1 So findet er einen am Bett. 3 Kein Messer Scherpfer schirrt denn wenn t-iii 

Baur des andern Herr wird. (Mathesius, p- 48.) 3 Hie iiulla carnificiua, uullura 



flio articles prepared by the rebels at Erfurth, he had added as a 
supplementary article: " Item, the following article has been omit 
ted : Henceforth the honourable council shall have no power ; it 
shall have nought to do bat sit like an idol or a log ; the com 
munity will chew all its meat for it, and the council will 
govern bound hand and foot. Henceforth the waggon will go be 
fore the horses, the horses hold the reins, and all go on 
admirably, conformably to the fine project which these articles 

Luther did not content himself with writing. While the tumult 
was at its height, he left Wittemberg, and travelled over several 
of the districts where the greatest agitation reigned. He preached 
and laboured to soften down men s spirits, and his hand, which 
God rendered powerful, directed, calmed, and brought back to 
their old channel, those furious torrents which had burst their banks. 

The teachers of the Eeformation every where exerted the same 
influence. At Halle, Brentz, by the promises of the divine Word, 
raised the drooping spirits of the burghers, so that four thousand 
peasants had fled before six hundred citizens. 1 At Ichterhausen, 
a multitude of peasants having assembled with the intention of 
demolishing several castles, and putting the noble proprietors to 
death, Frederick Myconius went to them alone, and such was 
the power of his eloquence that their design was immediately 
abandoned. 2 

Such was the part acted by the Eeformers and the Reformation 
in the midst of the revolt. They combated it with all their might 
by the sword of the Word, and energetically maintained the prin 
ciples which alone are capable, at all times, of preserving order and 
obedience among the nations. Accordingly, Luther maintained 
that if the power of sound doctrine had not arrested the fury of 
the people, the revolt would have caused much greater ravages, 
rmd completely overthrown both Church and State. There is 
every reason to believe that this dismal foreboding would have 
been realised. 

If the Reformers thus combated sedition, it was not without re 
ceiving severe shocks from it. The moral agony which Luther had 
first felt in the cell at Erfurth was perhaps at its greatest height 
after the revolt of the peasants. A great transformation among 
mankind is not produced without suffering on the part of those who 
are the instruments of it. To complete the work of Chris 
tianity, the agony of the cross was necessary: but He who hung 

1 Eorum animos fractos et perturbatos verbo Dei crexit. (M. Adam, Tit. Brenth, p. 
A\\.) 2 Agrnen rusticorum qui convenerant ad demoliendas arces unica oratioiie 
tie compescuit. (Ibid., p. 178.) 


upon the cross addresses each of his disciples in the words, u Are 
ye able to be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with ? " 

On the part of the princes it was incessantly repeated that Lu 
ther and his doctrine were the cause of the revolt, and however 
absurd this idea was, the Reformer could not see it so generally 
received without a feeling of deep grief. On the part of the peo 
ple, Miinzer and all the leaders of the sedition represented Luther as 
a vile hypocrite, a flatterer of the great ; * and these calumnies were 
readily credited. The violent terms in which Luther denounced 
the rebels had offended even moderate men. The friends of 
Rome triumphed; 2 all were against him, and the wrath of his age 
lay as a burden upon him. But what tore his soul most of all was 
to see the work of heaven thus dragged through the mire, and placed 
in the same rank with the most fanatical projects. He here recog 
nised his Gethseniane ; he saw the bitter cup which was presented 
to him, and anticipating universal desertion, exclaimed, " Omnes 
vos scandalum patiemini in ista nocte" 3 

Still amidst all this bitterness of feeling he preserved his faith. 
" He," said he, u who enabled me to trample the enemy under 
foot when he rose up against me like a cruel dragon or a raging 
lion, will not permit this enemy to crush me now that he appears 
with the perfidious aspect of the serpent. 4 I behold these misfor 
tunes, and I lament them. I have often asked myself if it would 
not be better to allo\v the papacy quietly to take its t own course, 
rather than see so many disturbances and divisions break out in 
the world. But no ! Far better rescue some from the devil s throat 
than leave them all under his murderous fangs." 6 

It was at this period that a revolution in Luther s mind which had 
begun in the Wartburg was completed. The internal life no longer 
sufficed him ; the Church and her institutions assumed a high im 
portance in his eyes. The boldness with which he had demolished, 
stopped at the sight of more radical demolition ; he felt that it was 
necessary to preserve, guide, build up, and from amidst the 
bloody ruins with which the wars of the peasants covered Ger 
many, the edifice of the New Church began slowly to arise. 

These disturbances left a deep and lasting emotion. The 
population was struck with terror. The masses who had 
sought in the Reformation only political liberty, withdrew 

1 Quod adulator principum vocer, (L. Ep. ii, p. 671.) 2 Gaudeut papistae de 

dissidio nostro. (Ibid., p. 612 ) The papists rejoice at our . 3 " All ye 

shall be offended because of me this night." Matt, xxvi, 31. (Ibid. p. 671.) * Qui cum 
toties haerenus sub pedibus nieis calcavit et contrivit leonem et draconem, noil sinet 
etiaiu basiliscurn. super me calcare. (Ibid.) He who has hitherto so often bruised 
and trampled the lioa and tie dragon under my feet, will not allow the adder to 
trample upon me. 5 E ist beSoer eiuige aus dem Rachen des Teufels herau*. 

reisseii. (L. Op. ii, ed. ix, p. 9ol.) 


spontaneously when they saw that spiritual liberty alone was 
offered them. The opposition of Luther to the peasants was 
equivalent to a renunciation of the ephemeral favour of the peo 
ple. An apparent calm was soon established, and the turmoil of 
enthusiasm and sedition, 1 was, throughout Germany, succeeded 
by a silence which terror inspired. 

Thus the popular passions, the revolutionary cause, the prose 
cution of a radical equality failed in the empire, but the Reformation 
did not fail. These two movements, which many confound, are 
clearly distinguished by their different results. Revolt came from 
beneath, the Reformation from above. A few cavalry and cannon 
were sufficient to suppress the former, but the latter ceased not to 
rise, strengthen, and increase in spite of the incessantly renewed 
attacks of the empire and the Church. 


Two Issues Death of Frederick The Prince and the Reformer Catholic Alliance 
Projects of Charles Dangers. 

Still, however, the cause of the Reformation seemed at first doomed 
to perish in the abyss which engulphed the popular liberties. A sad 
event which now occurred seemed destined to hasten its end. At the 
moment when the princes were marching against Mtinzer, ten days 
before his defeat, the old Elector of Saxony, he whom God had 
raised up to defend the Reformation against attacks from without, 
was descending into the tomb. 

His strength was daily decaying, and the horrors with which 
the war of the peasants was accompanied, were breaking his com 
passionate heart. " Ah!" exclaimed he, with a deep sigh; "if it 
were God s will, I would gladly die. No longer do I behold on 
the earth either love or truth, or faith, or any thing that is 
good. 12 

Turning his eyes from the combats with which Germany was 
resounding, the pious prince calmly prepared for his departure, in 
his castle of Lochau. On the 4th May, he sent for his chaplain, 
the faithful Spalatin. " You do well," said he to him, gently, 
as he entered, "to come and see me; for the sick should be 
visited." Then ordering his couch to be wheeled towards the table, 
near which Spalatin was seated, he ordered all his attendants to retire, 

1 Ea res incussit, vulgo terrorem . ; utnihil usquam moveatur. (Corp. Re 
p. 752 2 Noch etwas gates mehr in der Welt. (Seek., p. 702.) 


and affectionately taking hold of Spalatin s hand, spoke to him of 
Luther, the peasants, and his approaching departure. At eight in 
the evening Spalatin returned, when the prince opened his whole 
heart to him, and confessed his sins, in the presence of God. 
The next day (5th May), he received the communion in both 
kinds. He had no member of his family near him his brother 
and nephew having set out with the army; but, his domestics were 
around him, according to the ancient custom of those times. With 
eyes fixed on the venerable prince, who had been so kind a master, 
they were all melted in tears. 1 " My little children," said he, 
with a gentle voice, "if I have offended any one of you, let me 
have pardon for the love of God ; for we princes often give pain 
to inferiors, and that is wrong." Thus Frederick verified the 
words of the apostle " Let the rich rejoice, in that he is made 
low; because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away." 2 

Spalatin, who did not again leave him, warmly set before him 
the rich promises of the gospel ; and the pious Elector, in its power 
ful consolations, enjoyed ineffable peace. The evangelical doctrine 
\vas no longer vieAved by him as the sword which attacks error, 
pursues it wherever it is found, and after a vigorous struggle, 
finally overcomes it ; it distilled in his heart like the rain and the 
dew, filling it with hope and joy. The present world was forgotten, 
and Frederick saw only God and eternity. 

Feeling death rapidly approaching, he destroyed the testament 
which he had written several years before, and in which he recom 
mended his soul to the " Mother of God," and dictated another, in 
which he cast himself upon the sacred merits of Jesus Christ alone 
"for the forgiveness of his sins ;" and declared his firm conviction that 
" he was ransomed by the precious blood of his beloved Saviour." 3 
After this he said, " I can do no more;" and at five in the evening 
gently fell asleep. " He was a child of peace," exclaimed his phy 
sician, "and he has departed in peace." " O, death ! " said Luther, 
" how bitter to those whom thou leavest in life." 4 

Luther, who was then in Thuringia, trying to calm it, had never 
seen the Elector but at a distance, at Worms, standing beside Charles 
V. But these two men had met in soul, the first moment the 
Reformation appeared. Frederick longed for nationality and inde 
pendence as Luther longed for truth and Reformation. No doubt, 
the Reformation was, first of all, a spiritual work ; but it was per 
haps necessary, to its first success, that it should link itself to some 
national interest. Accordingly, no sooner had Luther made a 

i Das alle Umstehende zum weinen bewefjt. (Seek. p. 702.) 3 James, i, 10. 

3 Durch das theure Slut meines allerliebsten Heylandes erl oset. (Ibid. p. 70J.) 
* mors amara ! (L. Ep. ii, p. 659.) 


stand against indulgences, than the alliance between the prince 
and the monk was tacitly concluded an alliance purely moral, 
without contract, without writing, without words even, and in 
which the strong gave no other aid to the weak than to allow him 
to act. But now that the vigorous oak, under whose shelter the 
Reformation had gradually grown up was hewn down now that 
the enemies of the gospel were every where displaying new hatred 
and strength, while its partisans were obliged to hide themselves 
or be silent, nothing seemed able to defend it against the sword 
of its furious persecutors. 

The confederates at Ratisbon who had vanquished the peasants 
in the south and west of the empire, every where struck at the 
Reformation, as well as the revolt. At Wurtzburg and Bamberg, 
several of the most peaceable citizens, some even who had opposed 
the peasants, were put to death. " No matter," it was openly said, 
" they were adherents of the gospel." This was enough to make 
them lose their heads. 1 

Duke George hoped to make the landgrave and Duke John 
share in his love and his hatred. " See," said he to them, after 
the defeat of the peasants, and showing them the field of battle, 
u see the mischiefs engendered by Luther." John and Philip 
seemed to give some hope of adopting his views. " Duke George," 
said the Reformer, " imagines he is to triumph now that Frederick " 
is dead; but Christ reigns in the midst of his enemies: in vain 
do they gnash their teeth; their desire will perish." 2 

George lost no time in forming a confederation, similar to that of 
"Ratisbon, in the north of Germany. The Electors of Mentz and 
Brandenburg Dukes Henry and Eric of Brunswick, and Duke 
George, met at Dessau, and there, in July, concluded a Roman 
alliance. 3 George urged the new Elector, and the landgrave, his 
son-in-law, to give in their adherence to it. Then, as if to an 
nounce what were to be its results, he beheaded two citizens of 
Leipsic, in whose house some of the Reformer s writings had been 

At the same time a letter of Charles V, dated Toledo, arrived in 

Germany, appointing a new diet to be held at Augsburg. Charles 

wished to give a new constitution to the empire, that would enable 

him to dispose, at pleasure, of the forces of Germany. The reli- 

I gious divisions furnished him with the means. He had only to let 

ij loose the Catholics on the evangelicals. When they had mutually 

enfeebled each other, he would obtain an easy triumph over 

1 Ranke Deutsche Gesch. ii, p. 226. 2 Dux Georgius, mortuo Frederico, pntat 

Ise omnia posse. (L. Ep. iii, p. 22.) 3 Habito conciliabulo conjuraverunt resti- 

turos seso esse omnia .... (Ibid.) Having held a meeting, bound to restore 1J 


both. Down with the Lutherans! was the emperor s watch 
word. 1 

Tims, there was a kind of universal league against the Reforma 
tion. Never had the soul of Luther been so oppressed with fears. 
The remains of Munzer s sect had sworn that they would have his 
life, and his only protector was no more. Duke George, he was 
informed, intended to apprehend him even in Wittemberg. 2 
The princes, who might have been able to defend him, hung down 
their heads, and seemed to have forsaken the gospel. The univer 
sity, already thinned by disturbances, was, it was said, to be 
suppressed by the new Elector. Charles, victorious at Pavia, was 
assembling a new diet, with the view of giving the finishing blow 
to the Reformation. What dangers, then, must he not have fore 
seen .... That anguish, those inward sufferings which had 
often wrung cries from Luther, tore his soul. How shall he resist so 
many enemies ? Amidst these agitations, in presence of these many 
perils, beside the corpse of Frederick almost before it was cold, 
and the dead bodies of the peasants who strewed the plains of 
Germany who would have thought it Luther married ! 

CHAP. xni. 

The Xnns of Nimptsch Luther s Feelings End of tho Convent Luther - Mar 
riage Domestic Happiness- 

In the monastery of Mmptsch, near Grimma, there wore, in 1523, 
nine nuns, who diligently read the Word of God, and had per 
ceived the contrast between the Christian life and the life of the 
cloister. Their names were Magdalene Staupitz, Eliza Canitz, 
Ave Grossn, Ave and Margaret Schonfeld, Laneta Golis, Margaret 
and Catherine Zeschau, and Catherine Bora. The first proceeding 
of these young persons, after they had withdrawn from the super 
stitions of the monastery, was to write their parents. " The salva 
tion of our souls," they said, " does not allow us to continue any 
longer to live in a cloister." 3 The parents, fearing the trouble 
which such a resolution might give them, harshly repulsed the 
desire of their daughters. The poor nuns knew not what to do. How 
were they to leave the monastery? They trembled at the thought 
of so desperate a step. At last, the disgust which the papal wor 
ship produced, carried the day. They promised not to quit 
each other, but to repair, in a body, to some respectable place. 

1 Sleidan, Hist, of the Ref. i, p. 214. a Kdi Luther s Leben, p. 160. * Der 

Seelen Seligkeit halber. (L. I2p. ii, p. 323.) 


decently, and in order. 1 Leonard Koppe and Wolff Tomitzch, 
two worthy and pious citizens of Torgau, offered their assistance. 2 
They accepted it, as sent by God himself, and left the convent 
of Nimptsch without meeting with any opposition, as if the hand 
of the Lord had opened the gates for them. 3 Koppe and Tomitzch 
received them in their car ; and, on the 7th April, 1523, the nine 
nuns, astonished at their own hardihood, stopped, with emotion, 
before the gate of the old Augustin convent, where Luther was 

" It is not I who have done it," said Luther on receiving them ; 
" but would to God I could thus save all captive consciences, and 
empty all cloisters." 4 Several persons made an offer to the doctor 
to receive the nuns into their houses, and Catherine Bora was taken 
into the family of the burgomaster of Wittemberg. 

If, at that time, Luther had any thought of preparing for some 
solemn event, it was to mount the scaffold not approach the 
hymeneal altar. Many months later, his answer to those, who 
spoke to him of marriage was, " God can change my heart as he 
pleases; but now, at least, I have no thought whatever of taking a 
wife ; not that I do not feel some inclination for the married state : 
I am neither wood nor stone ; but I am in daily expectation of 
the death and punishment due to a heretic." 5 

Still every thing in the Church continued to advance. The 
monastic life, an invention of man, was every where succeeded by 
the habits of domestic life. On Sunday, 9th October, Luther 
having risen as usual, laid aside his Augustin frock, put on the 
dress of a secular priest, and then made his appearance in the 
church, where the change produced the greatest joy. Christen 
dom, which had renewed its youth, gave a glad welcome to all 
which announced that old things were passed away. 

Shortly after the last monk quitted the convent, but Luther still 
remained; his steps alone were heard in its long passages, and he 
sat alone in silence in the refectory, which was wont to echo with 
the tattle of the monks. An eloquent solitude! one which 
attested the triumphs of the Word of God! The convent had 
ceased to exist. Towards the end of 1524, Luther sent the keys 
of the monastery to the Elector, stating that he would see where 
God might be pleased to give him food. 6 The Elector gave the 
convent to the university, and asked Luther to continue to reside 

l Mit aller Zucht und Ehre an redliche Statte und Orte kommen. (L. Ep. ii, p. 323.) 
3 Per honestos cives Torgavienses adductae. (Ibid. p. 319.) 3 Mirabiliter 

evaserunt. (Ibid.) They made a miraculous escape. * Und alle Klbster ledip 

machen. (Ibid. p. 32 2.) 6 Cum expectem quotidie mortem et meritum hseretici 

upplicium. (Ibid. p. 570, 30th November, 1524.) 6 Muss und will Ich sehen 

wo mien Gott er mill ret. (Ibid. p. 582.) 

3 II 


in it. The abode of the monks was soon to become the hearth of a 
Christian family. 

Luther, whose heart was so well fitted to relish the sweets of 
domestic life, honoured and loved the married state; it is even 
probable that he had an attachment for Catherine Bora. For a long 
time his scruples, and the thought of the calumnies to which the 
step might give rise, had prevented him from thinking of her ; and 
he had made an offer of poor Catherine, first to Baumgartner of 
Nuremberg, x and then to Doctor Glatz of Nuremberg. But when 
he saw Baumgartner refuse Catherine, and Glatz refused by her, 
he asked himself more seriously, if he should not form the con 
nection in his own person. 

His old father, who had been so much grieved at his embracing 
the ecclesiastical stiate, urged him to marry. 2 But there was one 
idea which perpetually presented itself to Luther s conscience 
with new energy ; marriage is a divine celibacy a human insti 
tution. He had a horror at every thing that came from Rome. 
"I wish," said he, to his friends, "to preserve no part of my 
papistical life." 3 He prayed night and day, beseeching the Lord 
to deliver him from his uncertainty. At length all scruples were 
dissipated by one consideration. To all the motives of convenience 
and personal feeling w T hich led him to apply to himself the words, 
u It is not good that man should be alone" 4 was added a motive of 
a still higher nature and greater power. He saw, that if he was 
called to marriage as a man, he was still more called to it as a 
Reformer. This decided him. 

"If this monk marries," said his friend, lawyer Schurff, "he 
will make the world and the devil burst with laughter, and destroy 
the work which he has begun." 5 This saying made a very 
different Impression on Luther from what might have been sup 
posed. To defy the world, the devil, and his enemies, and, by an 
action, fitted, as was thought, to destroy the work of the Reforma 
tion, to prevent the success of it from being in any way ascribed 
to him, was the veiy thing which he desired. Hence, boldly 
lifting his head, he replied Very well, I shall do it. I shall play this 
trick "to the world and the devil I will give this joy to my father, I 
will many Catherine." By marrying, Luther broke still more com 
pletely with the institutions of the papacy. He confirmed the 
doctrine which he had preached by his example, and encouraged 
the timid entirely to renounce their errors. 6 At this time, 

1 Si vis KetamtuamaBora tenere. (L. Ep. ii, p. 563.) 2 Aus Begehren ineines 

lichen Vaters. (Ibid, iii, p. 2.) 3 Ibid. p. 1. * Genesis, ii, 18. 5 Risuros 

mundum universum et diabolum ipsum. (M. Ad. Vit. Luth. p. 130.) 6 Ut con- 

lirmem facto quse docui, tain multos invenio pusillanimes in tanta luce EvangeliL 
( L. Ep. iii, p. 13.) That I may, by act, confirm what I have taught, so many do I find 
pusillanimous in this great light of the gospel. 


Rome was, apparently, here and there regaining part of the terri 
tory which she had lost: she was, perhaps, beginning to cherish a 
hope of victory ; and lo, a mighty explosion carries surprise and 
terror into her ranks, and makes her more fully aware of the 
courage of the enemy, whom she thought she had tamed. " I 
wish," said Luther, " to bear testimony to the gospel, not only by 
my words, but also by my works. In the face of my enemies, who 
already triumph, and sing jubilee, I mean to marry aimn, in order 
that they may understand and know that they have not vanquished 
me. 1 I do not marry in the hope of living long with my wife ; but 
seeing people and princes letting loose their fury against me, fore 
seeing that my end is near, and that after my death they will 
trample my doctrine under foot. I mean to leave, for the edification 
of the weak, a striking confirmation of what I have taught here 
below." 2 

On the llth June, 1525, Luther repaired to the house of his 
friend and colleague, Amsdorff. He asked for Pomeranus, whom 
he distinguished by the name of " the Pastor," to bless his union. 
The celebrated painter, Lucas Cranach, and Doctor John Apelles, 
acted as witnesses. Melancthon was not present. 

Luther s marriage made a noise throughout Christendom. He 
was assailed from all quarters with accusations and calumnies. 
"It is incest!" exclaimed Hemy VIII. "A monk marrying a 
vestal!" said some. 3 "Antichrist must be born of this union," 
said others ; for there is a prophecy that he is to spring from a 
monk and a nun." On this Erasmus observed, with a sarcastic 
smile, "If the prophecy be true, how many thousands of Antichrists 
must the world already contain !" 4 But while Luther was thus 
assailed, several wise and moderate men within the pale of the 
Romish Church took up his defence. "Luther," said Erasmus, 
" has married a member of the illustrious house of Bora, but with 
out dowry." 5 A still more venerable testimony was given to him. 
The teacher of Germany, Philip Melancthon, Avhom this bold step 
had at first amazed, said, in that solemn tone, to which even his 
enemies listened with respect, "If it is pretended that there is 
any thing unbecoming in the marriage of Luther, it is a lie and a 

lumny. 6 I think he must have done violence to his own feelings 

Nonna ducta uxore in despectum triumphantium et clamantium, To!_To! hos- 
, (L. Ep. iii, p 21.) 2 jj on (j ux i uxorem ut diu viverem, sed quod nunc 

iorem finem meum suspicarer. (Ibid. p. 32.) I have not married for long life, 
because I suspect my end is drawing near. 3 Monachus cum vestali copu- 

tur. (M. Ad. Vit. Luth. p. 131.) * Quot Antichristorum millia jam olim 

et mundus. (Er. Ep. p. 789.) 5 Erasmus adds : " Partu maturo sponsoe 

lus erat rumor. (Ibi<l. pp. 780, 789.) There was a foolish rumour that his wife \v;is 
; to have a child. 6 On \^iv^o; rouro x,ot} ^/Ja/i? \cn. (Corp. Ref. i, p, 

3, ail Cam.) 

3 m 


in marrying. Married life is a humble, but it is also a holy 
state if there is such a state in the world and the Scriptures 
uniformly represent it as honourable in the sight of God." 

Luther was at first moved on seeing so much contempt and wrath 
poured out upon him. Melancthon redoubled his friendship and 
regard, 1 and the Reformer was soon able to see in the opposition 
of men only a sign of the approbation of God. " Did I not offend 
the world," said he, " I should have reason to tremble, lest what 
I have done should not be agreeable to God." 2 

There was an interval of eight years between Luther s attack on 
indulgences, and his marriage with Catherine Bora. It would thus 
be difficult, though it is still attempted, to attribute his zeal against 
the abuses of the Church to an impatient desire of marrying. He 
was at this time forty-two years of age, and Catherine Bora had 
been two years at Wittemberg. 

Luther was happy in his marriage. " The greatest gift of God," 
said he, "is a pious amiable spouse, who fears God, loves her house, 
and with whom one can live in peace and perfect confidence." Some 
months after his marriage, he announced to one of his friends that 
Catherine had hopes of becoming a mother. 3 A son was born about 
a year after the marriage. 4 The sweets of domestic life soon dissi 
pated the clouds which the anger of his enemies had at first raised 
around him. His Ketha, (Kate,) as he called her, showed the 
greatest affection for him comforted him, when he was depressed, 
by quoting passages of the Bible to him, relieved him from all the 
cares of ordinary life, sat beside him during his hours of leisure, 
embroidered the portrait of her husband, reminded him of the friends 
to whom he had forgotten to write, and often amused him by her 
simple-hearted questions. There appears to have been a certain 
degree of pride in her temper : hence Luther sometimes called her 
"Sir Kate." He one day said in jest, that, if he were still unmar 
ried, he would hew an obedient wife for himself out of stone, for 
such an one no where existed in reality. His letters fully expressed 
his fondness for Catherine. He called her " his dear and affec 
tionate wife," " his dear and amiable Kate." Luther s humour 
was more sportive in Catherine s society; and this happy turn 
of mind continued with him ever after, even amidst the greatest 

The almost universal corruption of the clergy had brought the 
priesthood into the greatest contempt, and though there were some 

t*ov$* xai tlvoia. (Corp. Ref i, p. 753, ad Cam.) 2 He adds j 

Offenditur etiam in came ipsius divinitatis et.creatoris. (L. Ep. iii, p. 32) 

s 21st October, 1525. Catena inea simulat vel vere implet illud Genes, iii. Tu dolore 
gravida eris. (Ibid., p. 35,) 4 Mir meine liebe Kethe einen Hansen Luther i 

bracht hat gestcrn um zwei. (8th June, 1526. Ibid. p. 119.) 


true servants of God, their isolated virtues could do away with it. 
Domestic peace, conjugal fidelity, the surest foundations of earthly 
happiness, were continually disturbed in town and country by the 
licentiousness of monks and priests. None were secure against 
their attempts at seduction. They took advantage of the free ac 
cess which they had into the bosom of families, and sometimes also 
of the intimate intercourse furnished by the confessional, to instil 
a deadly poison into their penitents, and so gratify their vicious 
propensities. The Reformation, by abolishing the celibacy of 
priests, re-established the sacredness of the marriage tie. The 
marriage of ecclesiastics put an end to an immense number of 
secret crimes. The Reformers became models to their flocks in 
the most intimate and important relation of life, and the people 
were not slow in expressing their joy at again seeing the ministers 
of religion become husbands and fathers. 


The Landgrave The Elector Prussia Reformation Secularisation The Arch 
bishop of Mentz Conference of Friedewalt^-Diet Alliance of Torgau -Resistance 
of-the ReformersAlliance of Magdeburg The Catholics redouble their efforts- 
Marriage of the Emperor Threatening Letters The two Parties. 

Luther s marriage at first seemed to add to the embarrassment 
of the Reformation, which was still suffering from the shock which 
it had received from the revolt of the peasants. The sword of the 
emperor and the princes had always been drawn against it, and its 
friends, the landgrave and the new Elector, seemed discouraged 
and afraid to speak out. 

However, this state of things was not of long duration. The 
young landgrave soon stood up boldly. Ardent and courageous, 
like Luther, he had been won by the charms of the Reformer s 
character. He threw himself into the cause of the Reformation 
with the eagerness of youth, and at the same time studied it with 
the gravity of a maturer intellect. 

In Saxony, the place of Frederick had not been supplied either in 
regard to wisdom or influence ; but his brother, the Elector John, 
instead of the passive part of protection, interfered more directly, and 
with more courage in religious affairs. When quitting Weimar on the 
16th August, 1525, he iatimated to the assembled priests, " I desire 
that in future you preach the pure Word of God, without any 
human addition." Some old ecclesiastics, who did not know how 


to obey, replied with great simplicity, "We are not forbidden, 
however, to say mass for the dead, nor to bless water and salt." 
"Every thing," resumed the Elector, "ceremonies as well as 
preaching, ought to be regulated by the Word of God." 

The young landgrave shortly after formed the strange project of 
converting his father-in-law, Duke George. Sometimes he proved 
the sufficiency of Scripture, sometimes attacked the mass, the papacy, 
and vows. Letter succeeded letter, and all the declarations of the 
Word of God were alternately opposed to the faith of the old duke. 1 

These efforts did not prove useless. The son of Duke George 
was gained to the Reformation. But Philip failed with his father- 
in-law. " In one hundred years," said the latter, "it will be seen 
who is in the right." " Sad words," said the Elector of Saxony. 
"What kind of faith is it that stands in need of such a trial?" 3 
"Poor duke . ..." He will wait long-. God, I fear, has hardened 
him as he did Pharaoh." 

In Philip the evangelical party found a bold and intelligent leader, 
capable of withstanding the formidable attacks which their enemies 
were preparing. But is there not reason to regret that the head of 
the Reformation was, from this moment, a man of war, instead of 
being a mere disciple of the Word of God? The human element was 
enlarged, and the spiritual element diminished. This was detri 
mental. For every work ought to be developed according to its 
own nature, and that of the Reformation was essentially spiritual. 

God was multiplying its supports. A powerful state on the 
frontiers of "Germany, Prussia, gladly arrayed itself under the 
gospel standard. The chivalric and religious spirit which had 
founded the Teutonic order had gradually died away with the 
times which gave it birth. The knights, now seeking only their 
private interest, had produced dissatisfaction among the people 
subject to them. Poland had profited by this in 1466 to obtain 
from the order a recognition of her sovereignty. The people, the 
knights, the grand master, the Polish government, were so many 
opposite powers, which were continually jostling each other, and 
rendered the prosperity of the country impossible. 

Then came the Reformation, and in it was recognised the only 
means of deliverance to this unhappy people. Brismann, Speratus, 
Poliarider, (Dr. Eck s secretary at the Leipsic discussion,) and 
others preached the gospel in Prussia. 

One day a mendicant, from the countries subject to the Teutonic 
knights, arrived at Wittemberg, and, halting before Luther s door, 
with solemn voice sang Poliander s beautiful hymn, 

i Rormnels Urkundenbuch, i, p. 2. a Was das fur ein Glaube sey, der cine 

solche Erfahrung erfordert. (Seckead. p. 739.) 



. "To us at length salvation comes." l 

The Reformer, who had never heard the hymn, listened with 
astonishment and rapture. The foreign accent of the singer in 
creased his joy. "Again! again! " exclaimed he, when the men 
dicant had finished. He then asked him where he got the hymn, 
and his tears began to fall when he learned that from the shores 
of the Baltic a cry of deliverance was resounding even in Wittem- 
berg. Then clasping his hands, he thanked God. 2 

In fact, salvation was there. 

" Take pity on our misery," said the people of Prussia to the 
grand master, " and give us preachers who proclaim the pure gos 
pel of^ Jesus Christ." Albert at first gave no answer, but he 
entered into conference with Sigismund, King of Poland, his uncle 
and sovereign lord, who acknowledged him as hereditary Duke of 
Prussia. 3 The new prince entered his capital of Konigsberg amid 
the ringing of bells, and the acclamations of the people ; all the 
houses were splendidly decorated, and the streets strewed with 
flowers. "There is only one order, said Albert, and that is 
Christendom." The monastic orders disappeared, and the divine 
order was re-established. 

The bishops gave up their secular rights to the new duke ; the 
convents were turned into hospitals ; the gospel was preached even 
in the humblest village, and, in the following year, Albert married 
Dorothea, daughter of the King of Denmark, whose " faith in the 
one only Saviour " was immoveable. 

The pope called upon the Emperor to exercise severity against 
this " apostate" monk, and Charles put Albert under the ban. 

Another prince, of the family of Brandenburg, Albert, Archbishop 
of Mentz, was then on the point of following the example of his 
cousin. The war of the peasants threatened the ecclesiastical 
states in particular; the Elector, Luther, all Germany believed 
that they were on the eve of a great revolution. The archbishop 
thinking that the only means of saving his principality was se 
cretly to secularise it, asked Luther to prepare the people for this 
bold step. 4 This Luther did by a letter which he prepared for 
them, and intended to publish. " God," said he, " has laid a 
heavy hand on the clergy: they must fall: nothing can save 
them." 5 But the war of the peasants having terminated much 
more speedily than had been imagined, the cardinal kept his tem 
poral possessions ; his fears were dissipated, and he renounced the 
project of secularisation. 

1 Es 1st das Heyl uns kommen her. 

- Dankte Gott mit Freuden. (Seek. p. <JG8.) 3 Sleidan, Hist, of the Ref. p. 220. 

* Seckend. p. 712. 5 Er muss heruuter. (L. Ep. ii, p. 674.) 


While John of Saxony, Philip of Hesse, and Albert of Prussia 
openly professed the Reformation, and thus the place of pru 
dent Frederick was supplied by three princes of resolution and 
courage, the holy work made progress in the Church and among 
the nations. Luther solicited the Elector to establish the evan 
gelical ministry throughout his States instead of the priesthood of 
Rome, and to appoint a general visitation of the churches. 1 About 
the same time episcopal powers began to be exercised, and ministers 
to be consecrated. " The pope, the bishops, the monks, and the 
priests, need not make a noise. We are the Church. There is no 
other Church than the assembly of those who have the Word of 
God, and are purified by it." 2 

All this could not be said and done without producing a power 
ful re-action. Rome had thought the Reformation extinguished in 
the blood of the rebellious peasants, but every where its flames 
re-appeared brighter and fiercer. She resolved to make a new effort. 
The pope and the emperor wrote threatening letters, the one from 
Rome, the other from Spain. The imperial government prepared 
to replace matters on the ancient footing, and it was seriously pro 
posed entirely to crush the Reformation at the approaching Diet. 

The electoral prince of Saxony and the landgrave alarmed, met 
on the 7th November, at the castle of Friedewalt, and agreed that 
their deputies at the Diet should aet on a common understanding. 
Thus, in the forest of Sullingen were formed the first elements of 
an evangelical alliance opposed to the leagues of Ratisbon and 

The Diet was opened, on the llth December, at Augsburg. 
The evangelical princes did not attend in person. The deputies 
of Saxony and Hesse spoke out boldly at the outset. " The revolt 
of the peasants," said they, "was occasioned by imprudent severity. 
Neither by fire nor sword can the truth of God be plucked out of 
nien s hearts. If you resolve on employing violence against the 
Reformation, the result will be more dreadful evils than those 
which you have just with difficulty escaped." 

It was felt that the resolution which should be taken could not 
fail to be of immense importance. Every one was desirous to put 
off the decisive moment in order to gain additional strength. It 
was, therefore, resolved to meet again at Spires in May following. 
The rescript of Nuremberg was meantime to continue in force. 
" Then," said they, " we will thoroughly decide the points of holy 
faith, righteousness, and peace." 

The landgrave prosecuted his design. In the end of February, 

1 L. Ep. iii, p. 28, 38, 51, etc. 2 D ass Kirche sey allein diejenige, so Gottes 

Wort haben und dainit gereiniget werden. (Corp. Ref. i, p. 766.) 


1526, he had a conference with the Elector at Gotha. The two 
princes agreed that if they were attacked on account of the Word 
of God, they would unite their whole forces to resist their adver 
saries. This alliance was ratified at Torgau. It was to have im 
portant results. 

The landgrave did not think the alliance of Torgau sufficient. 
Convinced that Charles V was seeking to form a league " against 
Christ and his holy Word," he wrote letter after letter to the 
Elector representing the necessity of uniting with other states. 
u For myself," said he, " I would die, and be chased from my 
throne, sooner than abjure the Word of God." L 

At the electoral court there was great uncertainty. In fact, there 
was a serious obstacle to the union of the evangelical princes. This 
obstacle was in Luther and Melancthon. Luther wished that the 
evangelical doctrine should be defended by God alone. He thought 
that the less men interfered with it, the more manifest the inter 
position of God would appear. All the measures proposed to be 
taken seemed to him attributable to cowardly timidity and culp 
able distrust. Melancthon feared that the alliance of the evan 
gelical princes was the very thing to bring on the war which it 
was wished to avoid. 

The landgrave did not allow himself to be arrested by these con 
siderations, and endeavoured to induce the states around him t 
join the alliance, but his efforts were not crowned with success. 
Frankfort refused to become a party to it. The Elector of Treves 
withdrew his opposition, and accepted of a pension from the em 
peror. The Elector Palatine himself, whose evangelical leanings 
were well known, rejected the propositions of Philip. 

The landgrave thus failed in the direction of the Rhine, but the 
Elector, notwithstanding of the advice of the theologians of the 
Reformation, entered into negotiation with the princes who had at 
all times rallied round the throne of Saxony. On the 12th June, 
the Elector and his son, the Dukes Philip, Ernest, Otho, and Francis 
of Brunswick and Luneburg, Duke Henry of Mecklenburg, Prince 
Wolf of Anhalt, Counts Albert and Gebhard of Mansfeld, met at 
Magdeburg, and there, under the precedency of the Elector, formed 
an alliance similar to that of Torgau. 

" God Almighty," said these princes, " having in his ineffable 
mercy caused his holy and eternal Word, the food of our souls and 
our greatest treasure here below, to appear again amongst men ; 
and powerful manoeuvres having been employed on the part of the 
clergy and their adherents, to annihilate and extirpate it, we being 
firmly assured that He who has sent it to glorify his name upon 

i Seek. p. 768. 


the earth, is able also to maintain it, engage to preserve this holy 
Word to our people, and for this end to employ our goods, our 
lives, our states, our subjects, all that we possess confiding not 
in our armies, but solely in the omnipotence of the Lord, whose 
instruments we desire to be." * So spoke the princes. 

The town of Magdeburg was two days after received into the 
alliance, and the new Duke of Prussia, Albert, Duke of Branden 
burg, gave in his adherence to it in a special form. 

The evangelical alliance was formed, but the dangers which it 
was intended to avert became every day more alarming. The 
priests and princes friendly to Rome had seen this Reformation 
which they thought completely strangled, suddenly rise up before 
them in a formidable shape. The partisans of the Reformation 
were already almost as powerful as those of the pope. If they have 
the majority in the* Diet, it is easy to divine what the ecclesiasti 
cal states have to expect. Now then or never ! The question is 
no longer merely the refutation of a heresy; a powerful party must 
be combated. Other victories than those of Dr. Eck must now 
save Christendom. 

Decisive measures had already been taken. The metropolitan 
chapter of the primary church of Mentz had convened a meeting 
of all its suffragans, and decided on sending a deputation to the 
emperor and the pope, to ask them to save the Church. 

At the same time Duke George of Saxony, Duke Henry of 
Brunswick, and the Cardinal-Elector Albert, had met at Halle, and 
had also resolved to address Charles Y. " The detestable doctrine 
of Luther," said they, " makes rapid progress. Every day attempts 
are made to gain even us, and when gentle means fail, attempts 
are made to compel us by stirring up our subjects. We invoke the 
assistance of the emperor." 2 Accordingly, after the conference, 
Brunswick himself set out for Spain to decide Charles. 

He could not have arrived at a more favourable moment. The 
emperor had just concluded with Francis the famous treaty of 
Madrid ; and as he seemed to have nothing to fear in that quarter, 
his eyes were now turned wholly to Germany. Francis I had 
offered to pay half the expenses of the war, whether against the 
heretics or against the Turks. 

The emperor was at Seville, on the eve of marriage with a princess 
of Portugal, and the banks of the Guadalquiver were re-echoing 
with the sound of festivities. A brilliant nobility, and immense 
crowds of people thronged the ancient capital of the Moors. Under 
the arches of the magnificent cathedral was displayed all the 

1 Allein auf Gott den Allmachtigen, als dessen Werkzeuge sie handeln. (Hortleber 
Ursache des deutschen Krieges, i, p. 1490.) a Schmidt, Deutsche Gesch, vui, p. 202. 


pomp of the Church. A papal legate officiated, and never, even 
in the days of the Arabs, had Andalusia seen a more splendid and 
imposing ceremony. 

This was the time when Henry of Brunswick arrived from Ger 
many, and besought Charles V to save the Church and the empire, 
which were now attacked by the monk of Wittenaberg. His re 
quest was immediately taken into consideration, and the emperor 
determined on decisive measures. 

On the 25th March, 1526, he wrote to several of the princes and 
towns which adhered to Home, and at the same time gave the 
Duke of Brunswick a special commission, to say to them, that with 
deep grief he had learned that the continual progress of Luther s 
heresy was threatening to fill Germany with sacrilege, devastation, 
and blood that, on the other hand, he had extreme pleasure in 
seeing the fidelity of the great majority of the States that, ne 
glecting every other affair, he was going to quit Spain and repair 
to Rome to make arrangements with the pope, and thenceforth re 
turn to Germany, to combat the detestable pest of Wittemberg ; 
that as to themselves they ought to adhere stedfastly to their faith ; 
and if the Lutherans sought to draw them into error by stratagem 
or force, they should enter into close union with each other, and 
resist boldly ; that he would shortly arrive and support them with 
all his authority. 1 

On the return of Brunswick to Germany, the Catholic party 
were overjoyed, and proudly lifted their heads. The Dukes of 
Brunswick, and Pomerania, Albert of Mecklenburg, John of Juliers, 
George of Saxony, the Dukes of Bavaria, and all the ecclesiastical 
princes thought themselves sure of victory after they read the 
threatening letters of the conqueror of Francis I. They would re 
pair to the approaching Diet, they would humble the heretical 
princes, and, if they did not otherwise submit, would compel them 
by the sword. Duke George is confidently affirmed to have said, 
" I may be Elector of Saxony whenever I please; " 2 an expres 
sion to which it was afterwards attempted to give a different turn. 
One day the duke s chancellor said at Torgau with an air of tri 
umph, 2 " Luther s cause cannot hold out long, it had better be 
looked to." 

Lulher, in fact, did look to it, but not in the sense thus implied; 
he attentively followed the designs of the enemies of the Word of 
God, and thought, as well as Melancthon, that he would soon see 
thousands of swords drawn against the gospel. But he sought his 
strength in a higher source than man. " Satan," wrote he to Fre- 

1 Archives of Weimar. 2 Ranke, Deutsch Gescb, ii, p. 349. Rommel Urkunden 



derick Myconius, " is giving full vent to his fury ; wicked pontiffs 
are conspiring and threatening us with war. Exhort the people 
to fight valiantly before the throne of God by faith and prayer, so 
that our enemies, being overcome by the Spirit of God, may be 
compelled to make peace. The first want, the first work is prayer; 
let the people know that they are now exposed to the edge of the 
sword and the fury of the devil, and let them pray." 1 

Thus, every preparation was made for a decisive combat. The 
Reformation had on its side the prayers of Christians, the sym 
pathies of the people, and the rising influence of mind which no 
power could arrest. The papacy had in its favour the ancient 
order of things, the power of ancient custom, the zeal and hatred 
of formidable princes, and the power of that great emperor whose 
dominion extended over two worlds, and who had just given so 
rude a check to the glory of Francis I. 

Such was the posture of aifairs at the opening of the Diet at 
Spires. At present we return to Switzerland. 

1 Ut in rrediis giadiis ct furoribus Satama poaito et periclitanti. (L. Ep. iii, 



Unity in Diversity Primitive Faith and Liberty Formation of Roman Unity 
A Monk and Leo Juda Theses of Zuinglius The discussion of January. 

WE are going to see the diversities, or, as they have been called, the 
variations of the Eeformation. These form one of its most essential 

Unity in diversity, and diversity in unity, is the law of nature, 
and also the law of the Church. 

Truth is like the light of the sun. The light, as it descends from 
heaven, is always one and the same, and yet it assumes different 
colours on the earth, according to the objects on which it falls. In 
the same manner, expressions, which differ somewhat from each 
other, may sometimes express the same Christian idea, con 
templated under different points of view. 

How dull should creation be, were this immense variety of forms 
and colours which constitute its riches, replaced by an absolute 
uniformity ! In like manner, how desolate the appearance, if all 
created beings formed only a single magnificent unity. 

Divine unity has its rights ; human diversity has its rights also. It 
is not necessary in religion to annihilate either God or man. If you 
have no unity, your religion is not of God ; if you have no diversity, 
it is not of man. Now, it ought to be of both. Would you erase 
from the creation one of the laws which God has imposed upon it, 
viz., that of an immense diversity? "Even things without life" 
says St. Paul, " whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction 
in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?" 
1 Cor. xiv, 7. But if there is in religious things a diversity, caused 
by the difference of individuality, and which, consequently, must 
exist even in heaven, a diversity there is which has been caused by 
the fall of man, and is a serious calamity. 


There are two tendencies which equally lead to error. The 
former exaggerates the diversity, and the latter the unity. The 
doctrines essential to salvation form the boundary between these 
two directions. To exact more than these doctrines is to infringe 
on the diversity to exact less is to infringe on the unity. 

The latter excess is that of rash and rebellious spirits, who turn 
away from Jesus Christ to form human systems and doctrines. 

The former exists in various exclusive sects, and, in particular, 
in that of Eome. 

The Church should reject error. Did she not do so Christianity 
could not be maintained. But, were we to push this idea to an 
extreme, the result would be, that the Church would require to 
oppose the smallest deviation, and involve herself in disputes 
about words. Faith would be swaddled, and Christian sentiment 
brought into bondag e. Such was not the condition of the Church 
in the days of true Catholicism I mean the first centuries. It 
rejected the sectaries who assailed the fundamental truths of the 
gospel; but these truths admitted, it left faith at full liberty. 
Home soon abandoned these wise limits, and in proportion as a 
domination and doctrine of man was formed in the Church there 
arose also a unity of man. 

A human system being once invented, its rigour increased 
from age to age. Christian liberty, which had been respected by 
the Catholicism of the first ages, was first limited, then chained, 
then stifled. Conviction, which, according to the laws of human 
nature and the Word of God, ought to be formed freely in the 
heart and the understanding of man, was imposed externally as 
fully formed and symmetrically arranged by his masters. Eeflec- 
tion, will, sentiment, all the faculties of the human mind, which, 
in due subordination to the Word and the Spirit of God, ought to 
labour and produce freely, were abridged in their liberty, and com 
pelled to expand in forms previously determined. The spirit of 
man became like a mirror, on which foreign objects are represented, 
but which possesses nothing of its own. Doubtless there still were 
souls taught directly by God. But the great majority of Christians 
had thenceforth only the convictions of others : a faith properly 
belonging to the individual became a rarity. The Reformation 
alone restored this treasure to the Church. 

Still there was for sometime a space, within which the human 
mind was allowed to range, certain opinions which it might admit 
or reject at pleasure. But, as a besieging army, always drawing 
closer and closer around the town, does not allow the garrison to 
stir beyond the precincts of the walls, and at length obliges it to sur 
render, in the same way was the hierarchy seen, in every age, and 


almost every year, abridging the space which it had granted pro 
visionally to the human mind, until, at length, the space was en 
tirely encroached upon, and ceased to exist. Everything that was 
to be believed, loved, or done, was regulated and fixed in the 
bureaus of the Roman chancery. The faithful were relieved from 
the trouble of examining, thinking, and wrestling; they had only 
to repeat the formula which they had been taught. 

From that time, if there appeared in the bosom of Roman 
Catholicism any man who inherited the Catholicism of the apos 
tolic times, that man, incapable of expanding within the limits 
to which he had been confined, behoved to overleap them, and 
show anew to the astonished world the lofty flight of the Christian 
who acknowledges no law save that of God. 

The Reformation, then, in restoring liberty to the Church, be 
hoved to restore to her her original diversity, and people her with 
families, united by the great features of resemblance which they 
derive from their common head, but differing in secondary 
features and bespeaking the inherent varieties of human nature. 
It were, perhaps, to be desired that this diversity could subsist 
in the universal Church without producing sects. Still, it ought 
to be remembered, that sects are only the expression of this 

Switzerland and Germany, which, till now, had been developed 
independently of each other, came into contact at the period, the 
history of which we are now to trace, and exemplified this diversity 
which was to become one of the characteristic features of Protest 
antism. We shall see men perfectly agreed on all the great points 
of faith, differing, however, on secondary questions. No doubt, 
passion mingled in these discussions ; but while deploring this sad 
mixture, Protestantism, far from disguising the diversity, acknow 
ledges and proclaims it. The path by which she leads to unity is 
long and difficult, but her unity is real. 

Zuinglius was making progress in the Christian life. While the 
gospel had delivered Luther from the profound melancholy to which 
he had formerly abandoned himself in the convent of Erfurth, and 
given him a serenity which often assumed the form of joyfulness, 
and of which the Reformer thenceforth gave numerous proofs, even 
in face of the greatest dangers, Christianity had had quite a contrary 
effect on the joyous child of the mountains of Tockenburg. With 
drawing Zuinglius from his volatile and worldly life, it impressed 
a gravity on his character that was not natural to it. This serious 
turn was very necessary. We have seen how, towards the end 
of 1522, numerous enemies seemed to rise up against the Reform - 


ation. 1 Zuinglius was every where loaded with invectives, and 
disputes often took place, even in churches. 

Leo Juda, small in stature, 2 says a biographer, but full of 
charity for the poor, and of zeal against false teachers, had arrived 
at Zurich towards the end of 1522, to discharge the office of pastor 
of the church of St. Peter, having been succeeded at Einsidlen by 
Oswald Myconius. 3 He was a valuable acquisition to Zuinglius 
and the Reformation. 

One day, shortly after his arrival, he heard an Augustin monk, 
in the church to which he had been called to be pastor, vehemently 
preaching, that man is able of himself to satisfy the justice of 
God. " Reverend father prior," exclaimed Leo, " listen for an 
instant, and you, dear citizens, keep quiet ; I will speak as becomes 
a Christian." He ^hen proved to the people the unsoundness of 
the doctrine which they had just heard. 4 There was great agitation 
in the church, and several forthwith angrily assailed the " little 
priest," who had come from Einsidlen. Zuinglius appeared before 
the great council; desiring to give an account of his doctrine in 
presence of the deputies of the bishop, and the council in their de 
sire to see an end put to these dissensions, summoned a conference 
for the 29th January, 1523. The news quickly spread over 
Switzerland. " There is going to be a diet of vagabonds at 
Zurich," said the adversaries spitefully " all the footpads will 
be there." 

Zuinglius, preparatory to the contest, published sixty-seven 
theses. Openly in the eyes of all Switzerland, the mountaineer of 
Tockenburg boldly attacked the pope. 

" All," said he, " who maintain that the gospel is nothing with 
out the confirmation of the Church, blaspheme God. 

" The only way of salvation to all men who have been, are, or 
are to be, is Jesus Christ. 

" All Christians are the brethren of Christ, and brethren of each 
other, and they have no fathers on the earth ; thus, orders, sects, 
and parties fall. 

" No constraint should be laid on those who do not acknow- v 
ledge their error, provided they do not, by seditious conduct, dis 
turb the peace." 

Such were some of the theses of Zuinglius. 

On the morning of Thursday the 29th of January, more than six 
hundred persons met in the hall of the great council at Zurich. 

i Vol. II, Book viij. 2 Er war ein kurzer Mann. (Fusslin Beytrage, iv, p. 44.) 

sUtpost abitum Leonis, monachls aliquid legam. (Zw. Ep. p. 253.) That after 

Leo s departure I may read to the monks. * J. J. Hottinger, Helv . Kirch. 

Gesch. iii, p. 105. 


Citizens and strangers, learned men, persons of distinction, and 
ecclesiastics, had responded to the call of the council. " What," it 
was asked, " is to be the result of all this? " 1 Nobody dared to 
answer; but the attention, excitement, and agitation of the 
assembly, showed plainly that great things were expected. 

Burgomaster Roust, who had fought at Marignan, presided. 
The chevalier, James of Anwyl, grand master of the episcopal 
court of Constance, Faber the vicar-general, and several doctors, 
Represented the bishop. Schaff hausen had sent Doctor Sebastian 
Hofmeister ; he was the only deputy from the cantons so long as 
the Reformation was in its infancy in Switzerland. On a table in 
the middle of the hall was the Bible, and beside it stood a teacher. 
This was Zuinglius. " I am agitated and tormented on all sides," he 
had said; " but still I remain firm, leaning not on my own strength, 
but on the rock, which is Christ, through whose aid I can do all 
things." 2 

Zuinglius arose. "I have preached," said he, "that salvation 
is found only in Jesus Christ; and for this I am stigmatised 

throughout Switzerland as a heretic, a seducer, a rebel 

Now then, in the name of God, here I am to answer." 3 . . . . 

All eyes now turned towards Faber, who rose and replied, " I 
was not sent here to debate, but only to listen." The assembly, 
in surprise, began to laugh. " The Diet of Nuremberg," continued 
Faber, "has promised a council in a year; we should wait 
for it." 

"What!" said Zuinglius, "is not this great and learned as 
sembly as good as a council ? " Then addressing the counsellors, 
he said, " Gracious lords, defend the Word of God." 

Profound silence followed this appeal ; after some time it was 
broken by the burgomaster. " If any one has any thing to say," 
said he, " let him do so." There was again silence. Zuinglius 
then said, " I implore all my accusers (and I know there are 
several of them here) to come forward, and for the love of truth, 
show wherein I deserve blame." Nobody said a word. Zuinglius 
renewed his demand a second and third time: it was in vain. 
Faber being close pressed, for a moment forgot the reserve which he 
had imposed on himself, to declare that the pastor of Filispach, who 
was detained in prison, had been convinced by him of his error; 
but he immediately became reserved as before. In vain was he 
urged to explain the reasons by which he had convinced the pastor. 
IJe was obstinately silent. The spectators, becoming impatient at 

i Ein grosses Verwunderen, was doch uss der Sach werden wollte. (Bullinger, 
tirpn. i, p. 97.) 2 Immotus tamen nianeo, non meis nervis nixus, sed petra 

jftrato, in quo omnia possum. (Zw. Ep. p. 261.) s N un wo hlan in dem Nameu 

Gottes, hie bin ich. (Bullinger, Chron. p. 98.) 



the silence of the Roman doctors, a voice was heard from the 
bottom of the hall, exclaiming, " Where are now those valiant 
men, 1 who speak so loud in the streets? Ho! come forward, here 
is your man! " Nobody presented himself. Then the burgomaster 
said, with a smile, " It seems, that the famous sword which smote 
the pastor of Filispach is not to come out of its scabbard to-day." 
So saying, he adjourned the meeting. 

In the afternoon, when the assembly again met, the council de 
clared, that Master Ulric Zuinglius, not having been censured by 
any one, should continue to preach the Holy Gospel, and that all 
the other priests of the canton should teach only what they could 
establish by the Holy Scriptures. 

" God be praised," exclaimed Zuinglius, " who is pleased 
that his Holy Wor^ should reign in heaven and on the earth." 
Faber could not now restrain his indignation. " The theses of 
Master Ulric," said he, " are contrary to the honour of the Church 
and the doctrine of Christ, and I will prove it." " Do so," ex 
claimed Zuinglius. But Faber refused to do it any where but at 
Paris, Cologne, or Friburg. " I won t have any other judge than 
the gospel," said Zuinglius ; " sooner will the earth open than you 
succeed in shaking a single word contained in it." 2 "The gospel," 
said Faber, " always the gospel ! . . . . We could live holily in 
peace and charity even though there were no gospel." 3 

At these words the audience rose up in indignation, and the 
discussion closed. 

CHAP. n. 

Caresses of the Pope Progress of the Reformation The image of Stadelhofen 
Sacrilege The Ornaments of the Saints. 

The Eeformation, having gained the day, was now to hasten its 
conquests. After this conflict of Zurich, where the ablest cham 
pions of the papacy had remained mute, who would have the 
courage to oppose the new doctrine? Meanwhile, other weapons 
were tried. The firmness of Zuinglius, and his republican leanings, 
misled his enemies, and hence special methods were employed for 
the purpose of overcoming him. While Borne was pursuing Luther 

1 The monks. Wo sind nur die grosseri Hansen .... (Zw. Op. i, p. 124.) 

2 Ee miiss das Erdrych brechen. (Zw. Op. i, p. 148.) 3 Man znocht denocht 
fruntlich. fridlich und tugendlich 1-iben, wenn glich kein Evangelium were. (Bull 
Chron. p. 107. Zw. Op. i, p. 152.) 


with her anathemas, she endeavoured to gain the Reformer of 
Zurich by gentle methods. Scarcely had the discussion closed, 
when Zuinglius was visited by the son of burgomaster Roust, the 
captain of the pope s guards, accompanied by the legate Einsius, 
who had in charge for him a pontifical brief, in which Adrian VI 
called Zuinglius his well-beloved son, and acquainted him with 
" his very particular regard." 1 At the same time, the pope made 
Zink be pressed to gain Zuinglius. " What, then, does the pope 
commission you to offer?" asked Oswald Myconius. "Every 
thing," replied Zirik, " except the pontifical see." 2 

There was no mitre and crozier, no cardinal s hat that the pope 
would not have given to gain the Reformer of Zurich. But in 
regard to him Rome was under strange illusions. All her offers 
were unavailing. The Romish Church had a more inveterate, enemy 
in Zuinglius than in Luther. He cared less than Luther did for 
the ideas and rites of former ages. To provoke his attack upon 
any custom innocent in itself, it was enough that it was attached to 
some abuse. The Word of God, he thought, was alone entitled 
to stand. 

But if Rome so little understood what was taking place in Chris 
tendom, she had counsellors who tried to correct her mistake. 

Faber, irritated at seeing the pope thus humbling himself before 
his adversary, hastened to enlighten him. A courtier, who had 
always a smile upon his lips and honied words in his mouth, Faber 
was, by his own account, the friend of every body, even of those 
whom he was accusing of heresy. But his hatred was mortal. 
Hence, the Reformer, playing on the word Faber said, " The vicar 
of Constance is a fabricator .... of lies. Let him openly pro 
ceed to arms, and see how Christ defends us." 3 

These words were not a vain bravado ; for while the pope was 
speaking to Zuinglius of his eminent virtues, and of the particular 
confidence which he had in him, the enemies of the Reformer were 
multiplying in Switzerland. Veteran soldiers, leading families, and 
mountain shepherds, were uniting in their hatred against this doc 
trine, which was at variance with their tastes. At Lucerne a 
pompous spectacle was announced under the name of The Passion 
of Zuinglius. A dwarf, meant to represent the Reformer, was 
dragged to execution, crying, that they were going to put the 
heretic to death. Laying hold of some Zurichers who were at 
Lucerne, they obliged them to be spectators of this ridiculous exhi- 

1 Cum de tua egregia virtute specialiter nobis sit cognitum. (Zvr. Ep. p. U66.) 

2 Serio respondit: Omnia certe prseter sedem papalem. (Vit. Zwingli per Osw. 
Myc,) s Prodeant volo. palamque arma capiaut . . . . (Zw. Ep. p. 
202.) 3 


bition. " They will not disturb my peace," said Zuinglius. "Christ 
will never be wanting to his people." l The Diet itself resounded 
with menaces against him. " Dear confederates," said counsellor 
Mullinen to the cantons, " oppose the Lutheran cause in time, 

At Zurich a man is no longer a master in his own 


This agitation of the adversary announced what was taking place 
in Zurich still better than any proclamations could have done. In 
fact, the victory was yielding its proper fruit ; the conquerors gra 
dually took possession of the country, and the gospel daily made new 
progress. Twenty-four canons, and a great number of chaplains, 
came, of their own accord to the council, to demand a reform of their 
statutes. It was resolved to supply the place of these idle priests 
by pious and learned men, commissioned to give the youth of 
Zurich a Christian and liberal education, and to establish, instead 
of their Latin vespers and masses, a daily exposition of a chapter 
of the Bible according to the Hebrew and Greek text, first for the 
learned, and then immediately after for the people. 

All armies unfortunately contain blundering recruits, who detach 
themselves from the main body, and prematurely attack some point 
which ought for the time to have been left untouched. A young 
priest, named Louis Ketzcr, having published in Germany a treatise, 
entitled "The Judgment of God against Images" a strong impression 
was produced, and images became the constant dislike of a portion 
of the population. When a man allows his attention to be 
engrossed by secondary matters, it is always to the detriment of 
more essential matters. A crucifix carefully sculptured and richly 
adorned had been placed on the outside of one of the gates of the 
town, at the place called Stadelhofen. The most ardent partisans 
of the Keformation shocked at the superstition to which this image 
gave occasion, were unable to pass it without expressing their in 
dignation. A citizen named Claud Hottinger, u a worthy man," 
says Bullinger, " and well read in the Scriptures," having met the 
miller of Stadelhofen, to whom the crucifix belonged, asked when 
he meant to pull down his idols. " Nobody obliges you to worship 
them," replied the miller. "But do you not know," resumed 
Hottinger, " that the Word of God forbids us to have graven 
images V " " Very well," replied the miller, " if you are authorised 
to pull them down, I abandon them to you." Hottinger thought 
himself entitled to act, and shortly after, about the end of Septem 
ber, he set forth from the town with a number of citizens. On 
arriving at the crucifix, they quietly dug all around it until the 

i Christum suis nur.qnam dafuturam. (Zw. Ep. p. 278J 


image yielded to their efforts, and fell to the ground with a loud 

This bold action spread general alarm ; one would have said that 
with the crucifix of Stadelhofen, religion itself had been overthrown. 
" These men are blasphemers ! They are worthy of death ! " ex 
claimed the friends of Borne. The council caused the iconoclast 
burghers to be apprehended. 

"No:" said Zuinglius and his colleagues from the pulpit, 
u Hottinger and his friends are not guilty before God or worthy 
of death. 1 But they may be punished for having acted with vio 
lence, and without the authority of the magistrates." 2 

Meanwhile similar acts were repeated. One day a vicar, of the 
church of St. Peter, seeing a number of poor people before the 
church without food and clothing, said to one of his colleagues, 
turning towards some of the pompously decked images, " I would 
willingly strip these wooden idols in order to clothe these poor 
members of Jesus Christ." A few days after, at three in the 
morning, the saints, and all their ornaments, disappeared. The 
council ordered the vicar to be imprisoned, though he declared that 
he was not the guilty party. "What!" said the people, "was it 
bits of wood our Saviour ordered us to clothe ? Is it on account of 
these images he will say to us, I was naked, and ye clothed me? 1 " 
Thus, the Beformation, when discountenanced, became only the 
more powerful. The more it was curbed the more violently it 
sprang forward, threatening to bear down its opposition. 


The October Discussion Zuinglius on the Church The Church First Outline 
of Presbyterianism Discussion on the Mass Enthusiasts A Voice of Wisdom 
Victory A characteristic of the Swiss Reformation Moderation Oswald My- 
conius at Zurich The Revival of Letters Thomas Plater of the Valois. 

Even these excesses were to prove salutary, A new combat 
was necessary in order to secure new triumphs ; for it is equally 
true in mental as in worldly affairs that there is no conquest 
without a struggle. Since the soldiers of Borne remained motion 
less, the combat was to be provoked by rash sons of the Beforma- 
ion. In fact, the magistrates were uncertain and at a loss how to act. 
ley felt that their conscience required to be enlightened ; and, 

1 An exposition of the same principles may be seen in the speeches of Messieurs DC 
"iroglie and Royer-Collard, in the famo is debates on the law of sacrilege. 

2 Dorum habendirunser Herren kein racht zuinen, sy zutoden. (Bull. Chr.,p.l27.) 


with this view, they resolved to institute a second public discus 
sion in German, when the question of images should be tried by 

The Bishops of Coire, Constance, and Bale, the university of Bale, 
and the twelve cantons, were in consequence invited to send deputies 
to Zurich. The bishops refused the invitation. Kemembering the 
sad figure their deputies had made at the previous discussion, they 
had no wish to renew these humiliating scenes. Let the evangelicals 
dispute if they will ; but leave them to do it by themselves. The 
first time we were silent the second we wont even appear. Home, 
perhaps, imagined that there would be no combat from want of com 
batants. The bishops were not singular in refusing to come. The 
men of Underwalden replied that they had no learned men among 
them, but merely honest and pious priests, who explained the 
gospel as their fathers had done, and therefore they would not send 
any deputy to Zuinglius, " and the like of him ;" but that, if they 
had him in their clutches, they would handle him in a way which 
would leave him no desire to repeat the same faults. 1 Schaff- 
hausen and St. Gall alone sent representatives. 

On Monday, 26th October, after sermon, an assembly of more 
than nine hundred persons, consisting of members of the Grand 
Council, and three hundred and fifty priests, filled the large hall 
of the town-house. Zuinglius and Leo Juda were seated at a table 
on which lay the Old and New Testament in the original tongues. 
Zuinglius first spoke, and, demolishing the authority of the hie 
rarchy and its councils with a vigorous arm, established the rights 
of every Christian church, and claimed the liberty of the primi 
tive ages of those times when the Church had neither oecumenical 
nor provincial councils. "The Church universal," said he, "is 
diffused over the whole world, wherever there is faith in Jesus 
Christ, in the Indies as well as at Zurich And, as to par 
ticular churches, we have them at Berne, at Schaffhausen here 
also. But the popes, their cardinals, and their councils, are neither 
the Church universal nor the Church particular. 2 This assembly 
which I now address," he continued energetically, "is the church of 
Zurich ; it desires to hear the Word of God, and it is entitled to 
enjoin whatever it deems conformable to the Holy Scriptures." 

Thus Zuinglius leant upon the Church but the true Church ; 
not on priests only, but on the congregation of Christians on 
the people. All that Scripture says of the Church in general, he 
applied to particular churches. He did not think that a church 

1 So wollten wir Ihm den Lohn geben, dass er s nimmer mehr tha te. (Simmler 
Bamrnl., M.S., ix.) 2 Der Pabste, Cardinale und Bischbffe Concilia sind nicht 

die Christliche Kirche. (FUssl. Beytr., iii, p. 20.) 


listening with docility to the Word of God, could be deceived. The 
Church he regarded as politically and ecclesiastically represented 
by the Great Council. 1 He at first discussed each question in the 
pulpit, and then, after men s minds were convinced of the truth, he 
laid the matter before the Great Council, who, being agreed with 
the ministers of the Church, adopted the decisions which she ap 
proved. 2 

In the absence of deputies from the bishop, the defence of the 
pope was undertaken by the old canon, Conrad Hoffman, who had 
been the means of calling Zuinglins to Zurich. He maintained that 
the Church, the flock, " the third estate," had no right to discuss 
such matters. " I was thirteen years at Heidelberg," said he, " I 
lived with a great scholar, called Doctor Joss, a worthy pious man, 
with whom, for a long time, I ate and drank, and lived on familiar 
terms ; but he always said that it was unbefitting to discuss such 
subjects. You see well!" Every body was ready to laugh ; but 
the burgomaster stopped the explosion. " Thus, then," continued 
Hoffman, " let us wait for a council. For the time being, I have 
no wish to discuss, but to submit to the bishop, even were he a 

" Wait for a council ! " replied Zuinglius. " And who will attend 
a council? The pope and lazy ignorant bishops, who will do nothing 
of their own accord. No : that is not the Church ! Hong and Kiiss- 
nacht (two Zurich villages) are much more certainly a Church 
than all the bishops and popes put together!" 

Thus Zuinglius claimed the restoration of the rights of the Chris 
tian people, whom Rome had disinherited of their privileges. The 
assembly before which he spoke was not, in his view, the Church 
of Zurich, but it was its primary representative. We have here 
the germs of the Presbyterian system. Zuinglius withdrew 
Zurich from the jurisdiction of the bishopric of Constance, de 
tached it from the Latin hierarchy, and on the idea of the flock, of 
the Christian assembly, founded a new ecclesiastical constitution, 
uo which other countries were at a later period to adhere. 

The discussion was continued. Several priests having risen to 
defend images, but without appealing to the Holy Scriptures, Zuin 
glius and the other reformers employed the Scriptures in refuting 
them. " If no one rises," said one of the presidents, " to give Bible 
arguments in favour of images, we shall call upon some of their 

1 Diacosion Senatus summa est potestas Ecclesiae vice. (Zw. Op. iii, p. 339.) 

2 Ante omnia raultitudinem de qusestione probe ducere ita factum est, ut quidquid 
lacosu cum verbi ministris ordiiiarent, jamdudum in animis tideliurn ordinatum 
iSet. (Ibi.l.) By thoroughly instructing the people, first of all in the question, th*/ 

result was, that, whatever the council of two hundred, with the ministers of the Word, 
enjoined, was already enjoined in the minds of the faithful. 

li nscussiON ON THE MASS. 

defenders by name." Nobody coming forward, he called upon the 
curate of Wadischwyl. " He is asleep," cried one of the audience. 
The curate of Horgen was then called upon. " He sent me in his 
stead," replied his vicar; "but I dont wish to answer for him." 
The Word of God gave evident tokens of its power in the midst of 
this assembly. The friends of the Reformation were full of power, 
liberty and joy ; their opponents appeared speechless, uneasy, de 
sponding. In succession were called the curates of Laufen, Glatt- 
felden, Wetzikon, the rector and curate of Pfaffikon, the dean of 
Elgg, the curate of Baretschwyl, the Dominican and Cordelier friars y 
who were known every where to preach up images, the Virgin, 
saints, and the mass, but all answered that they could not say 
any thing in their favour, and that, in future, they would apply to 
the study of the truth. " Hitherto," said one of them, " I have 
believed the ancient ; now I mean to believe the new doctors." 
" It is not us that you ought to believe," exclaimed Zuinglius, " it 
is the Word of God. The Scriptures alone never deceive." The 
meeting was protracted, and night drew on. President Hofmeister 
of Schaffhausen, rose and said, "Blessed be the Almighty and 
Eternal God who giveth us the victory in all things." He then 
exhorted the counsellors of Zurich to abolish images. 

The meeting was again held on Tuesday, under the presidency 
of Vadian, for the discussion of the doctrine of the mass. " Bre 
thren in Christ," said Zuinglius, " far be it from us to think that 
there is any deception or falsehood in the blood of Christ. 1 Our 
only object is to show that the mass is not a sacrifice which one 
man can present to God for another man, unless, indeed, it can be 
shown that n man can eat and drink for his friend." Vadian having 
asked on two several occasions if any of those present were ready to 
defend the doctrine which was impugned, by Scripture, and nobody 
having answered, the canons of Zurich, the chaplains, and several 
other ecclesiastics, declared that they agreed with Zuinglius. 

But no sooner had the Reformers thus vanquished the partisans 
of the ancient doctrines, than they were compelled to struggle 
against those impatient men who demand sudden and violent inno 
vations, instead of wise and gradual reforms. The unhappy Conrad 
Grebel rose and said, " It is not enough to have discussed the mass 
it is necessaiy to abolish its abuses." "The council," replied Zuin 
glius, will issue a decree on this subject." Then Simon Stumpf ex 
claimed, " The Spirit of God has already decided ! why then remit 
it to the council for decision?" 2 

Commander Schmidt of Kussnacht rose up gravely and uttered 

1 Pass einigerley Bi-trug oiler Falsch syg in dem reinen Blut und Fleisch Christi. 
Zw - v * n iiuu a Der Geist Gottes urtheUet. (Ibid., i, p. 529 J 


words full of wisdom. " Let us teach Christians, 1 said he, i to 
receive Christ into their hearts. 1 Till this hour you have all gone 
after idols. Those of the plain have run to the mountains, and 
those of the mountains have run to the plain; the French to Ger 
many, and the Germans to France. Now you know where you 
ought to go. God has united all things in Christ. Noble men of 
Zurich run to the true source; let Jesus Christ again enter on your 
ten itory, and resume his ancient empire." 

This address made a deep impression, and none having appeared 
to contradict it, Zuinglius, under deep emotion, rose and said, "Gra 
cious lords, God is with us ! ... He will defend his cause. Now, 
then, ... in the name of God, . . . forward! ..." Here he 
was so deeply agitated that he was obliged to stop. He wept and 
many wept with him. 2 

Thus terminated the discussion. The presidents rose ; the burgo 
master thanked them, and then this old warrior, addressing the 
council, said gravely, with the voice which had so often been heard 
on the battle-field. " Now, then, let us take into our hands the 
sword of the Word of God, . . . and may God prosper his own 

This discussion of October, 1523, had been decisive. The greater 
part of the priests who had been present at it, returned full of zeal 
to different parts of the canton, and the effect of these days was 
felt all over Switzerland. The church of Zurich, which had always 
been, to a certain degree, independent of the bishopric of Con 
stance, was now fully emancipated. Instead of resting through 
the bishop on the pope, it henceforth rested through the people on 
the Word of God. Zurich resumed the rights of which Rome had 
robbed it. The town and the country rivalled each other in the 
interest they felt for the work of the Reformation, and the Great 
Council only followed the movement of the people. On important 
occasions the town and villages intimated what their views were. 
Luther had restored the Bible to the Christian people. Zuinglius went 
farther, and restored their rights. This is a characteristic feature 
of the Reformation in Switzerland. It confided the maintenance 
of sound doctrine under God to the people, and recent events have 
shown that the people are better custodiers of this deposit than 
priests and pontiffs. 

Zuinglius did not allow himself to be inflated by victory. On 
the contrary, the Reformation was proceeded with, by bis desire, 

, ith great moderation. When the council asked his advice, he said, 

1 Wie sie Christum in ihren Herzen sollind bilden und maclien (Zw. Op. i, p. 534.) 

2 Dass er sich selbst mit vil andren bewegt zu weinen. (Ibid., p. 537.) 


" God knows my heart ; he knows that I am disposed to build up 
and not to pull down. I know timid souls who require to be 
gently dealt with ; let the mass then be for some time longer read 
in all the churches on Sunday, and let care be taken not to insult 
those who celebrate it." l 

The council issued a decree to this effect. Hottinger and Hoch- 
rutiner, one of his friends, were banished from the canton for two 
years, and forbidden to return without permission. 

At Zurich, the Reformation followed a wise and Christian course. 
Exalting this city higher and higher, it made it glorious in the eyes 
of all the friends of the Word of God. Accordingly, those in Swit 
zerland who had hailed the new day which was rising on the 
Church, felt powerfully attracted toward Zurich. Oswald My- 
conius, driven from Lucerne, had remained for six months in the 
ralley of Einsidlen, when one day as he was returning from a journey 
to Glaris, 2 worn out with heat and fatigue, he was met by his son, 
young Felix, who came running to tell him that he Ayas called to 
Zurich to direct one of the schools. Oswald, unable to credit the 
good news, was suspended between hope and fear. 3 " I am yours," 
he at last wrote to Zuinglius. Geroldsek parted with him with re 
gret, while sad thoughts filled his mind. " Ah! " said he to him, 
u all who profess Christ go away to Zurich ; I fear that we shall 
one day all perish together," 4 a mournful presentiment which the 
death of Gerlodsek and so many other friends of the gospel was 
to realise too truly on the plains of Cappel. 

Myconius at last found a safe port in Zurich. His predecessor, 
who from his stature, had been nick-named at Paris, " the great 
devil," had neglected his duties; Oswald devoted all his powers 
and all his heart to the fulfilment of them. He explained the Latin 
and Greek classics, and taught rhetoric and logic, while the youth of 
the town listened to him with joy. 5 Myconius was to be to the 
young what Zuinglius was to adults. 

Myconius was lirst alarmed at the advanced scholars he was to 
have ; but he gradually resumed courage, and had, ere long, dis 
tinguished among his pupils a youth of twenty-four, whose look 
bespoke a love of study. He was named Thomas Plater, and was 
originally from the Valais. In the beautiful valley where the tor 
rent of the Viege after escaping from the ocean of glaciers and snow 
which surround Mount Rosa, rolls its turbulent waters between 
St. Nicholas and Stalden, on the mountain which rises on the right 
of the river, still stands the village of Grachen. It was the birth- 

Ohne dass jemand sich unterstehe die Messpriester zu beschimpfen. (Wirtz, H. K. 
G. v, p. i08.) s Insperato nuntio excepit me films redeuntem ex Glareana. (Zw. 

Ep. p. 32? ) 3 Inter spem et metum. (Ibid.) 4 Ac deinde oinnes sinml per 

, j.mus. (Ibid., p. 3->3.) * Juveutus ilium lubens audit. (Ibid., p. 264.) 


place of Plater. From the vicinity of these colossal Alps was 
to come forth one of the most original characters who figured in 
the grand drama of the 16th century. Placed at the age of nine 
with a curate, a relation, the little peasant, when beaten, as he 
often was, cried, to use his own words, like a hare when it is put 
to death. One of his cousins took him with him to visit the Ger 
man schools. He was already more than twenty years of age, and, 
while running from school to school, could scarcely read. 1 Hav 
ing arrived at Zurich, he firmly resolved to attend to his education; 
and having made a bench for himself in a corner of Myconius school, 
said to himself, " There you will learri or die." The light of the 
gospel penetrated his heart. One morning, feeling very cold, and 
having nothing to heat the school stove, which it was his office to 
keep going, he said to himself, " You have no wood, and so many 
idols in the church." Though Zuinglius was to preach, and the 
bells had begun to ring, nobody was present. Plater silently 
entered the church, and carrying off a St. John that stood upon 
an altar, put it in the stove, saying, " Down with you, for you 
must pass through it." Doubtless, neither Myconius or Zuinglius 
would have approved the act. 

In truth, unbelief and superstition, required to be combated 
with better weapons. Zuinglius and his colleagues had given the 
right hand of fellowship to Myconius, who daily expounded the 
New Testament in the church of Notre Dame to a large and at 
tentive audience. 2 A public discussion, which took place on the 
13th and 14th of January, 1524, had given a new blow to Home. 
In vain had canon Koch exclaimed, " The popes, the cardinals, 
the bishops, and the councils, these are my church! . . . " 

Every thing was advancing in Zurich ; men s minds were en 
lightened, their hearts were fixed, the Reformation was established. 
Zurich was a fortress gained by the new doctrine, and from its 
walls that doctrine was to spread over the whole confederation. 


Diet of Lucerne Hottinger Arrested His Death Deputation of the Diet to Zurich 
Abolition of Processions Abolition of Images The two Reformations Ap- 
peal to the People. 

The enemy was aware of this, and saw the necessity of resolving to 
strike a decisive blow. He had long enough been mute. The strong 
men of Switzerland, the cuirassed and steel-clad warriors at last re- 

i See his autobiography. a ^eise Fusslin Bey t iv, p. 66. 


solved to rise; and they had never risen without reddening the 
battle-field with blood. 

The Diet had met at Lucerne. The priests laboured to stir up 
the first council of the nation in their favour. Friburg and the 
Waldstetten showed themselves their ready instruments; Berne, 
Basle, Soleure, Glaris, Apperizel were undecided. Schaffhausen 
almost declared for the gospel, but Zurich alone stood up boldly 
as its defender. The partisans of Rome urged the Diet to yield 
to their demands and prejudices. " Let all be prohibited," said 
they, " to preach, or announce any thing new or Lutheran, secretly 
or publicly; and to speak or dispute on these topics in taverns and 
over their cups." x Such was the ecclesiastical law which the con 
federation was asked to establish. 

Nineteen articles to this effect were drawn up, and being ap 
proved on the 26th January, 1523, by all the states except Zurich, 
were sent to all the bailies, with orders to see that they were 
strictly observed. "This," says Bulliuger, "caused great joy 
among the priests, and great grief among the faithful." Persecu 
tion, being thus regularly organised by the superior authority of 
the confederation, now began. 

One of the first who received the orders of the Diet was Henry 
Flackenstein of Lucerne, bailie of Baden, within whose jurisdiction 
Hottinger had retired on his banishment from Zurich, after throw 
ing down the crucifix of Stadelhofen. Here he had not kept a 
watch upon his tongue, but one day at table in the Angel Inn, at 
Zurzach, had said that the priests were bad expounders of the Holy 
Scriptures, and that it was necessary to c<*nfide entirely to God alone. 3 
The inn-keeper, who was constantly going and coming, bringing in 
bread and wine, became a listener to language which seemed to him 
very strange. Another day, Hottinger had been to see one of his 
friends, John Schutz of Schneyssingen. After they had dined to 
gether, Schutz asked, "What then is this new faith which the priests 
of Zurich are preaching." " They preach," replied Hottinger, "that 
Christ was once sacrificed for all Christians, that by this single 
sacrifice he has purified and ransomed them from all their sins, 
and they show, by the Holy Scriptures, that the mass is a lie." 

Hottiuger had afterwards quitted Switzerland, (this took place 
in February, 1523,) and gone on business across the Rhine to 
Waldshut. Measures were taken to make sure of him, and towards 
the end of February, the poor Zuricher, who suspected nothing, 
having again crossed the Rhine, no sooner reached Coblentz, a 
village on the left bank of the river, than he was arrested. He 

i Es soil nieman in den Wirtzhiiseren oder Runst hinter dem Wyn von Lutheris- 
chen oder nuwen Sachen uzid reden. (Bull. Chron. p. 144.) a Wie wir unser pit! 

Iloffimns und Trost allein uf Gott. (Ibid., p. HG.) 



was taken to Klingenau. As he confessed his faith frankly, Flack- 
enstein became irritated, and said, " I will take you where you 
will find your answer." 

In fact, the bailie took him successively before the judges of 
Klingenau, before the superior tribunal of Baden, and at length, 
as none would declare him guilty, he took him before the Diet as 
sembled at Lucerne. He was determined to find judges who would 
condemn him. 

The Diet lost no time, and condemned Hottinger to be beheaded. 
On learning his sentence, he gave thanks to Jesus Christ. " Very 
good, very good," said James Troger, one of the judges, "we are 
not here to listen to sermons. You will babble some other time." 
" His head must first be taken off," said bailie Amort of Lucerne 
laughing, 4i but if it comes on again, we will all embrace his creed." 
11 May God forgive those who condemn me," said the prisoner. 
Then a monk having put a crucifix to his lips, he pushed it away 
saying, " It is in the heart that we ought to receive Christ." 

When he was led away to execution, several in the crowd could 
not refrain from tears. " I am going to eternal happiness," said 
he, turning towards them. On reaching the place of execution, 
he raised his eyes to heaven, and said, " I commit my soul into 
thy hands, O my Redeemer." Next moment his head rolled on 
the scaffold. 

No sooner had Hottinger s blood been shed than the enemies of 
the Reformation took advantage of it still more to inflame the 
rage of the confederates. In Zurich itself must the evil be sup 
pressed. The dreadful example which had just been given must 
have filled Zuinglius and his partisans with terror. One vigorous 
effort more and Hottinger s death will be followed by that of tho 
Reformation. . . . The Diet immediately resolved that a deputa 
tion should be sent to Zurich, to ask the council and citizens to 
abjure their faith. 

On the 21st of March, the deputation was received. "Ancient 
Christian unity," said the deputies, "is broken; the evil extends ; 
already have the clergy of the four Waldstettcs declared, that if aid 
is not given to them, they will be obliged to desist from their func 
tions. Confederates of Zurich, join your efforts to ours ; strangle this 
new faith j 1 depose Zuinglius and his disciples ; then let us all unite 
in applying a remedy to the encroachments of the popes and their 

Thus spoke the enemy. "What, then, were the men of Zurich to 
do? Would their hearts fail them, and their courage melt away 
with the blood of their fellow-citizen? 

1 Zurich selbigen ausreuten und untertrucken helfe. (Ilott Ilelv. K. G. iii, p. 170.) 



Zurich did not long leave her friends and enemies in uncertainty. 
The council answered calmly and nobly, that they could not make 
any concession when the Word of God was involved, and after 
wards proceeded to reply in terms still more eloquent. 

It had been customary, from the year 1351, that, on Whitsunday 
Monday, a numerous procession, in which every pilgrim bore a 
cross, should repair to Einsidlen to worship the Virgin. Great 
irregularities were committed during this festival, 1 which was estab 
lished in memory of the battle of Tatwyll. The procession was 
to take place on the 7th May. On the application of the threo 
pastors the council abolished it, and all the other processions were 
successively reformed. 

Nor did they stop here. Relics, the source of many superstitions, 
were honourably buried. 2 Thereafter, on the demand of the three 
pastors, the council issued a decree purporting that, as God alone 
was to be honoured, images should be removed from all the churches 
of the canton, and their ornaments employed in relieving the poor. 
Twelve counsellors, Cone from each tribe,) the three pastors, the 
architect of the town, blacksmiths, locksmiths, carpenters, and 
masons, repaired to the different churches, and, locking the doors 
behind them, 3 took down the crosses, picked away the figures 
in fresco, whitened the walls, and carried off the images, to the 
great joy of the faithful, who, said Bullinger, "saw in this act a 
brilliant homage rendered to God." In some country churches, the 
ornaments were burned to the honour and glory of God. Organs, 
which were frequently played in connection with divers super 
stitions, were abolished, and baptism was administered after a new- 
formula, from which every thing not Scriptural was excluded. 

Burgomaster Roust, and his colleague, gladly hailed the triumphs 
of the Reformation with their last look. They had lived long 
enough, and they died at the very time of this great revival. 

The Swiss Reformation presents itself under an aspect very dif 
ferent from that of the German Reformation. Luther had set his 
face against the excesses of those who broke down the images 
in the churches of Wittemberg ; but images fell in the presence of 
Zuinglius in the churches of Zurich. This difference is explained by 
the peculiarities of the two Reformers. Luther wished to retain in 
the Church every thing that was not directly contrary to Scripture, 
whereas Zuinglius wished to abolish every thing that could not be 
proved by Scripture. The German Reformer wished to remain 
united to the Church of former ages, and was satisfied with purging 

1 tiff einen creitzgang sieben unehelicher kinden ubeT-kommen wurdend. (Bullin- 
ger, Chr. p. 160. 2 Und es eerlich bestattet hat. (Ibid., p. 161.) 8 Habend 

die nach inen zu beschlossen. 


it of every thing that was opposed to the "Word of God. The Zurich 
Reformer passed by all these ages, returned to apostolic times, and 
subjecting the Church to a complete transformation, laboured to 
re-establish it in its primitive form. 

The Reformation of Zuinglius was therefore the more complete. 
The work which Providence had committed to Luther the re- 
establishment of justification by faith was doubtless the great 
work of the Reformation; but this work once finished, there 
remained others which, though perhaps secondary, were still im 
portant. This was, more especially, the work of Zuinglius. 

In fact, two great tasks were given to the Reformers. Christian 
Catholicism, which was born amid Jewish pharisaism and Greek 
heathenism, had gradually yielded to the influence of these two 
religions, and thereby been transformed into Roman Catholicism. 
Now the Reformation, in as much as it had been called to purify 
the Church, was bound to emancipate it equally from the heathen 
and from the Jewish element. 

The Jewish element existed especially in that department of 
Christian doctrine which bears reference to man. Catholicism had 
received from Judaism the pharisaical ideas of self-righteousness, 
and salvation by human powers, or works. 

The heathen element existed especially in that department of 
Christian doctrine which relates to God. In .Catholicism, the idea 
of an infinite God, whose all-sufficient power acts every where, and 
without ceasing, had been adulterated by heathenism. In its 
place the reign of symbols, images, and ceremonies, had been in 
troduced into the Church, and the saints had become the demi 
gods of the papacy. 

Luther s Reformation was directed essentially against the Jewish 
element. This was the element with which he had to struggle, 
when an audacious monk was sent by the pope, to vend the salva 
tion of souls for ready cash. 

The Reformation of Zuinglius was specially directed against the 
Heathen element. This element he had encountered when in the 
Church of Our Lady of Einsidlen, as of old in the temple of Diana 
of Ephesus, a crowd who had flocked from all quarters, stupidly 
prostrated themselves before an idol decked in gold. 

The Reformer of Germany proclaimed the great doctrine of 
justification by faith, and thereby gave a death-blow to the phari 
saical righteousness of Rome. No doubt the Reformer of Swit 
zerland did so also ; the inability of man to save himself forms the 
basis of the work of all reformers. But Zuinglius did more. He 
proved the supreme, universal, exclusive existence and agency of 
God, and thus gave a mortft) thrust to the pagan worship of Rome. 



"Roman Catholicism had exalted man and dishonoured God. 
Luther humbled man : Zuinglius exalted God. 

These two tasks, which were theirs specially, but not exclusively, 
were both completed. That of Luther laid the foundation of the 
building : that of Zuinglius put on the cope-stone. 

It was reserved for a still greater genius on the banks of the lake 
of Geneva, to impress both characters at once on the Reformation. 1 

But while Zuinglius was thus advancing with rapid strides at the 
head of the confederation, the temper of the cantons was always 
becoming more hostile. The Zurich government felt the necessity of 
being able to fall back on the people. The people, f. e., the assembly 
of the faithful, was, moreover, according to the principles of Zuing 
lius, the highest power on earth to which an appeal could be made. 
The council resolved to sound them, and ordered the bailies to put the 
question to all the communes, whether they were willing to endure 
every thing for the sake of Jesus Christ, " who," said the council, 
" gave for us sinners his life and blood." 2 The whole canton had 
taken a deep interest in the progress of the Reformation in the 
town, and in many places the houses of the peasantry had become 
Christian schools, in which the Holy Scriptures were read. 

The proclamation of the council, which was read in all the dis 
tricts, was received with enthusiasm. " Let our rulers, 1 replied 
they, " adhere boldly to the Word of God, we will help them to 
maintain it; 3 and if any annoyance is given them, we will bring 
assistance to our brave fellow -citizens." The peasantry of Zurich 
showed then, as they have shown since, that the strength of the 
Church is in the Christian people. 

But the people were not alone. The man whom God had placed 
at their head, responded nobly to their appeal. Zuinglius, as it were, 
multiplied himself for the service of God. All who, in the Helvetic 
cantons, endured any persecution for the gospel, applied to him. 4 
The responsibilty of affairs, the care of the Church, anxious inter 
est in the struggle carried on in all the Swiss vallies, formed the 
burdens of the Zurich evangelist. 5 At Wittemberg, news of his 
courage were received with joy. Luther and Zuinglius were two 
great luminaries placed in upper and lower Germany, and the doc 
trine of salvation, so powerfully preached by them, spread over the 
extensive regions, which descend from the heights of the Alps to 
the shores of the Baltic and the Northern Ocean. 

1 Litterarischer Anzeiger, 1840, No. 27. 2 Der sin rosenfarw bliit alein fur 

uns arme sunder ver^ossen hat. (Bull. Chr. p. 180.) 3 Meine Herrn sollten 

auch nur dapfer bey dem Gottsworte verbleiberu (Fussl. Beytr., iv,p. 107, where the 
replies of all the districts are given.) * Scribunt ex Helvetiis terme ornnes qui 

propter Christum pi-emuntur. (Zw. Ep. p. 348.) 6 Negotiorum strepitus et 

ecclesiarum curse ita me undique quatiunt. (Ibid.) The noibe of business, and the 
care of the churches so harass me on every side. 



New Opposition OZxlin carried off The Family of the Wirths The mob at the 
Convent of Ittingen The Diet of Zug The Wirths seized and given up to the 
Diet Condemnation. 

The Word of God could not thus triumphantly spread over exten 
sive districts without arousing the indignation of the pope in his 
palace, the curates in their presbyteries, and the Swiss magistrates 
in their councils. Their terror increased every day. The people 
were consulted ; the Christian people again became of some weight 
in the Christian Church, and their faith and their sympathies were 
appealed to instead of the decrees of the Roman chancery .... This 
formidable attack required a still more formidable resistance. On 
the 18th April, the pope addressed a brief to the confederates, and 
the Diet assembled at Zug in the month of July, yielding to the 
pressing exhortations of the pontiff, sent a deputation to Zurich, 
Schaffhausen and Appenzel, to declare to these States its firm deter 
mination to destroy the new doctrine, and prosecute its adherents, 
in their goods, their honours, and even their lives. This warning 
was not heard in Zurich without emotion; but it was firmly 
answered, that, in matters of faith, obedience could only be given 
to the Word of God. On hearing this reply, Lucerne, Schwitz, 
Uri, Underwalden, Friburg, and Zug, gave loud utterance to their 
rage, and forgetting the reputation and strength which the acces 
sion of Zurich had of old given to the rising confederation, forgetting 
the precedence which had already been conceded to it, the simple 
and solemn oaths which had been taken to it, and the many com 
mon victories and reverses, these states declared that they would 
not sit in Diet with Zurich. Thus, in Switzerland, as in Germany, 
the partisans of Rome were the first to violate federal unity. But 
menaces and ruptures of alliance, were not sufficient. The fanati 
cism of the cantons demanded blood, and it was soon seen with 
what weapons the papacy sought to combat the Word of God. 

A friend of Zuinglius, the excellent CExlin, 1 was pastor at Berg, 
near Stein, on the Rhine. The bailie, Amberg, who had appeared 
to listen gladly to the gospel, 2 wishing to obtain this bailiwick, had 
promised the leading men in Schwitz to destroy the new faith. 
(Exlin, though he was not subject to his jurisdiction was the first 
on whom his severity was to be exercised. 

On the night of 7th July, 1524, a knock was heard towards 

1 See VoL ii, p. 387. 2 p er war anfangs dem Evangelic guustig. (Bull, Chr., p. 180.) 

I 2 


midnight at the pastor s door. On being opened, the bailie s 
soldiers seized him, and carried him off prisoner, notwithstanding 
of his cries. GExlin, on his part, thinking they were going to 
assassinate him, cried murder ; the inhabitants got up in alarm, 
and tho whole village was soon in a frightful tumult, the noise of 
which reached as far as Stein. The sentinel on guard at the castle 
of Hohenklingen fired the alarm cannon, the tocsin sounded, and 
the inhabitants of Stein, Stammheim, and the adjacent places, were 
all, in a few moments, in motion, inquiring, amid the darkness, as 
to what had happened in the district. 

At Stammheim lived vice-bailie Wirth, whose two sons, Adrian 
and John, young priests full of piety and courage, earnestly preached 
the gospel. John, especially, in the fulness of faith, was ready to givs 
his life to his Savkmr. It was a patriarchal family. Anna, the mo 
ther, who had given the bailie a numerous family, and had brought 
them up in the fear of the Lord, was revered for her virtues over the 
whole district. On hearing of the tumult of Berg, the father and 
the two eldest sons came out of the house. The father s indignation 
was roused when he saw that the bailie of Frauenfeld had exercised 
his authority in an illegal manner. The sons were grieved to learn 
that their brother, their friend, he whose good example they loved 
to follow, was carried off as a criminal. Each of them seized a 
halbert, and, in spite of the fears of an affectionate wife and mother, 
the father and the two sons joined the band of the citizens of Stein, 
determined to deliver their pastor. Unhappily a crowd of those 
nondescript individuals who always spring up whenever there is 
any disturbance, were also astir. They set off in pursuit of the 
bailie s officers, who, hearing the tocsin and sounds of alarm, made 
all speed, and dragging along their victim, soon placed the Thur 
between themselves and their pursuers. 

The people of Stein and Stammheim reached the river side, but 
having no means of crossing, stopped, and resolved to send a de 
putation to Frauenfeld. " Ah !" said bailie Wirth, " the pastor of 
Stein is so dear to us that I would willingly give up every thing 
for him, my goods, my liberty, and even my life." * The mob 
finding themselves near the convent of the Cordeliers of Ittingen, 
who were supposed to stimulate the tyranny of the bailie Amberg, 
entered, and got possession of the refectory. These miserable 
beings soon became intoxicated, and scenes of disorder ensued. 
Wirth implored them, but in vain, to quit the convent; 2 he even ex 
posed himself to be maltreated by them. His son Adrian remained 
outside the cloister. John entered it, but distressed at what he saw 

1 Sunder die kuttlen im Buch fur Im w agan. (Bull. Chr., p. 193.) 3 Und budt 

ty um Gottes willen uss dem Kloster zu gand. (Ibid., p. 183.) 



he immediately came out again. 1 The intoxicated peasants began 
to break into the wine cellars and stores, to break the furniture to 
pieces, and burn the books. 

News of these disorders having reached Zurich, deputies from 
the council hastened to the spot, and ordered those who had come 
out of the canton to return to their homes. The order was obeyed. 
But a crowd of Thurgovians, attracted by the tumult, installed 
themselves in the convent, and there made good cheer. Sud 
denly, no one knew how, a fire broke out, and the convent was 
reduced to ashes. 

Five days after, the deputies of the cantons met at Zug. Cries 
of revenge and death were heard in the assembly. u Let us march," 
said they, " with banners unfurled, on Stein and Stammheim, and 
smite their inhabitants with the sword." The vice-bailie and his two 
sons, on account of their faith, had long been the objects of special 
hatred. " If any one is guilty," said the deputy of Zurich, " let 
him be punished ; but be it according to the laws of justice, and 
not by violence." Vadian, deputy of St. Gall, supported this 
view. Then the envoy, John Hug of Lucerne, unable to restrain 
himself, exclaimed, with dreadful oaths, 1 "The heretic, Zuinglius, 
is the father of all these revolts, and you, doctor of St. Gall, yon 
favour his infamous cause, you aid him in securing its triumphs. 
.... You ought not to sit longer among us." The deputy of 
Zug endeavoured to restore peace, but in vain, Vadian retired ; 
and, as some of the populace had designs upon his life, he secretly 
left the town, and arrived, by a devious course, at the convent of 

Zurich, determined to suppress all disorder, resolved, in the 
meantime, to apprehend those who had roused the anger of the 
confederates. Wirth and his sons were living peaceably at Stamm 
heim. " Never will the enemies of God be able to overcome his 
friends," said Adrian Wirth from the pulpit. The father received 
information of the fate which awaited him, and was urged to fly 
with his sons. " No," said he : " trusting in God, I mean to wait 
for the officers." And, when the soldiers made their appearance 
at his house, he said, "My lords of Zurich might have spared 
themselves all this trouble ; they had only to send a child for me, 
and I would have obeyed." 2 The three Wirths were led away to 
the prison of Zurich. Rutiman, bailie of Nussbaum, shared their 
fate. They were closely examined, but nothing was discovered in 
their conduct to criminate them. 

As soon as the deputies had learned the imprisonment of these 

1 Ban es Im leid was. (Ibid., p. 195.) 2 Mit flnchen und wiiten. (Bull. Chr., p. 181.) 
Dann hnttind sy mir ein kind geschickt. (Ibid., p. 186.) 

3 o 


four citizens, they demanded that they should be sent to Baden, 
and gave orders, in the event of a refusal, to march upon Zurich 
and cany them off. "To Zurich," replied the deputies of this 
state, " it belongs to ascertain whether these men are guilty or 
not ; and we have found no fault in them." Then the deputies of 
the cantons exclaimed, "Will you deliver them to us? Answer 
yes or no ; and not one word more." Two of the deputies of 
Zurich took horse, and rode off at full speed to their constituents. 

On their arrival all the town was in great agitation. If the 
prisoners were refused, the confederates would come and seek them 
with arms in their hands; and, if they were delivered, it was the 
same thing as giving them up to death. Opinions were divided. 
Zuinglius was decidedly for refusing. " Zurich," said he, "must 
remain faithful to its constitutions." At last it was thought that a 
middle course had been found. " We will remit the prisoners to 
you," said they to the diet, " but on condition that you will only 
examine them as to the affair of Ittingen, and not as to their faith." 
The Diet acceded to the terms ; and on the Friday before St. Bar 
tholomew s day (August, 1524,) the three Wirths and their friend, 
accompanied by four counsellors of state, left Zurich. 

There was general lamentation. It was foreseen what fate 
awaited these two old men and these two youths. Nothing but 
sobbing was heard as they passed along. "Alas!" exclaims a 
contemporary, " what a mournful procession." - 1 The churches 
were crowded. " God," exclaimed Zuinglius, " God will punish 
us. Ah ! let us, at least, implore him to impart his grace to these 
poor prisoners, and strengthen then- faith. 2 

On Friday evening the accused arrived at Baden, where an im 
mense crowd was waiting for them. They were first taken to an 
inn and then to prison. They had difficulty in moving forward, 
the people pressed so close upon them to see them. The father, 
who walked in front, turned towards his sons, and mildly said to 
them, " See, my dear children, we are. as the apostle says, as it 
were appointed to death : for we are made a spectacle to the world, 
and to angels, and to men." 1 Cor. iv, 9. Then perceiving in the 
crowd his mortal enemy, bailie Amberg, the cause of all his mis 
fortunes, he went up and offered him his hand, but the bailie turned 
away. Clasping his hand in his, he calmly said, " God lives in 
heaven, and knows all things." 

The inquest commenced on the following day. Bailie Wirth 
was first brought in. He was put to the torture without regard to 
his character or his age ; but he persisted in declaring that he was 

1 web ! was elender Fahrt war das! (Bern. Weyss. Fussl. Beyt. iv, p. 56.) 

2 Sy troste und in warem glouben starckte. (Bull. Chr. p. 188.) 


innocent of the pillaging and burning of Ittingen. He was then 

charged with destroying an image of St. Anne Nothing 

could be proved against the other prisoners, except that Adrian 
Wirth was married, and preached after the manner of Zuinglius 
and Luther ; and that John Wirth had given the sacrament to a 
sick person, without bell and taper. 1 

But the more their innocence was proved, the more the rage of 
their adversaries increased. From morning till noon the old man 
was kept under the torture. His tears could not soften his judges. 
John Wirth was still more cruelly tortured. " Tell us," he was 
asked in the midst of his agony, " tell us where you got your 
heretical faith ? Was it from Zuinglius, or some other person ?" 
And, as he exclaimed, u O merciful and eternal God, come to my 
aid and support me!" " Ah, well!" said one of the deputies to 
him, " where is now thy Christ? " When Adrian appeared, Se 
bastian of Stein, deputy of Berne, said to him, " Young man, tell 
us the truth ; for if you refuse to tell it, I swear to you, by my 
knighthood, which I acquired in the very place where God suf 
fered martyrdom, that we will open all the veins of your body in 
succession." Then the young man was attached to a cord, and as 
they swung him in the air, u My little master," said Stein, with a 
diabolical smile, " here is our marriage present," 2 alluding to the 
marriage of the Lord s young servant. 

The process being concluded, the deputies returned to their 
cantons to make their report, and did not return till four weeks 
after. The bailie s wife, the mother of the two young priests, re 
paired to Baden, with an infant in her arms, to intercede with the 
judges. John Escher of Zurich, accompanied her as advocate. 
Perceiving among the judges the landamman of Zug, Jerome 
Stocker, who had two diiferent times been bailie of Frauenfeld. 
u Landamman," said he to him, "you know bailie Wirth: you 
know that he has all his life been an honest man." " You say 
true, my dear Escher," replied Stocker, " he never harmed any 
one ; fellow citizens and strangers were always kindly received at 
his table; his house resembled a convent, an inn, an hospital. 3 
Hence, if he had robbed or murdered, I Avould do every thing in my 
power to obtain his pardon. But since he has burned St. Anne, 
the grandmother of Christ, he must die!" .... "God have 
mercy omus," exclaimed Escher. 

The gates were shut. This was on the 28th September, and the 
deputies of Berne, Lucerne, Uri, Schwitz, Underwald, Zug, Glaris, 

1 On Kerzen, schellen und anders so bisshar geiipt ist. (Bull. Chr. p. 196.) 

2 Alls man inn am folter seyl uffzog, sagt der zum Stein : Herrli. das ist die gaab 
die wirtich zu liwer Hussfrowen schanckencl. (Ibid., p. 190.) * Sin huss ist 
allwey gstn wie ein Kloster, wirtshuss und pi tall. (Ibid., p. 198.) 


Friburg, and Soleure, having proceeded to judgment with closed 
doors, according to custom, pronounced sentence of death on bailie 
Wirth, his son John, who was strongest in the faith, and appeared 
to have carried the others along with him, and bailie Rutiman. 
Adrian, the second son, was granted to his mother s tears. 

The officers proceeded to the tower to fetch the prisoners. 
u My son," said the father to Adrian, " do not avenge our death, 

although we have not deserved to suffer " Adrian s 

tears fell fast. " My brother," said John to him, " the cross of 
Jesus Christ must always follow his word." 1 

After the judgment was read, these three Christians were taken 
back to prison ; John Wirth walked in front, the two vice-bailies 
next, and a vicar followed. As they passed the castle bridge, 
where was a chapel consecrated to St. Joseph, " Prostrate your 
selves, and invoke the saints," said the priest to the two old men. 
John Wirth, who was in advance, turned back on hearing these 
words, and cried out, " Father, remain firm. You know there is 
only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus." 
" Certainly, my son," replied the old man, " and with the help of 
} is grace I will remain faithful unto the end." All three now 
began to repeat the Lord s Prayer, " Our Father which art in 
heaven." Then they passed the bridge. 

They were afterwards led to the scaffold. John Wirth, whose 
heart was filled with the tenderest anxiety for his father, took 
farewell of him. " My dearly beloved father," said he to him, 
" henceforth you are no longer my father, and I am no longer your 
son ; but we are brethren in Christ our Lord, for whose name I am 
to suffer death. 2 To-day, dearly beloved brother, if it pleases God, 
we shall go to him who is the father of us all. Fear nothing." 
" Amen! " replied the old man, " and may God Almighty bless 
you, my beloved son, and my brother in Christ ! " 

Thus, on the threshold of eternity, this father and son took 
leave of each other, hailing the new mansions where they were 
going to be united by everlasting ties. The greater part of those 
around them were weeping bitterly. 3 Bailie Rutiman prayed in 

The three having knelt down, " in the name of Christ," were 

The multitude, on seeing the marks of the torture upon their bodies, 
gave loud utterance to their grief. The two bailies left twenty-two 
children, and forty-five grandchildren. Anne had to pay twelve 

1 Doch allwag das criitz darby. (Bull. Chr. p. 198.) 2 Furohin bist du nitt 

pe min Vatter und ich din sun, sondern wir sind briidern in hristo. (Ibid., p. 
04.) 3 Des gnadens weyneten vil Liithen herzlich. (Ibid.) 


gold crowns to the executioner, who deprived her husband and sou 
of life. 

Thus blood, pure blood had flowed. Switzerland and the Re 
formation were baptised with the blood of martyrs. The great 
enemy of the gospel had done his work ; but in doing it his power 
was broken. The death of the Wirths was to hasten the triumphs 
of the Reformation. 


Abolition of the Mass Zuinglius dream Celebration of the Lord s Supper 
Brotherly Charity Original Sin The Oligarchs against the Reformation 
Divers Attacks. 

It was not thought desirable to proceed to the abolition of the 
mass in Zurich, immediately after that of. images; but now the 
moment seemed arrived. 

Not only was evangelical light diffused among the people ; but, 
moreover, the blows which the enemy struck, called upon the 
friends of the gospel to reply to them by striking demonstrations 
of their immoveable fidelity. Every time that Rome erects a 
scaffold, and cuts off heads, the Reformation will hold up the 
Word of the Lord, and cut off abuses. When Hottinger was 
executed, Zurich abolished images; now that the heads of the 
Wirths have rolled on the scaffold, Zurich will reply by the 
abolition of the mass. The more Rome increases her cruelties, 
the more will the Reformation see her power increase. 

On the llth April, 1525, the three pastors of Zurich presented 
themselves, with Megancler and Oswald Myconius, before the 
great council, and petitioned for the re-establishment of the Lord s 
Supper. Their speech was grave; 1 all minds were solemnised; 
every one felt the importance of the resolution which the council 
was called to take. The mass, that mystery which, for more than 
three centuries, was the soul of the religious service of the Latin 
Church, behoved to be abolished ; the corporal presence of Christ 
behoved to be declared an illusion, and the illusion itself made 
palpable to the people. To resolve on this required courage, and 
there were men in the council who shuddered at the very idea 
of it. Joachim Am-Griit, mider-secretary of State, terrified 
s.t the bold demand of the pastors, opposed it with all his might. 
" These words TJiis is my body," said he, " irresistibly prove 

1 Und vermantend die ernstlich. (Bull. Chr. p 263.) 


that the bread is the body of Christ himself." Zuingiius observed, 
that in the Greek language * (is) is the only word to express 
signifies; and he quoted several instances in which this word is 
employed in a figurative sense. The great council being convinced, 
hesitated not ; the evangelical doctrines had penetrated all hearts. 
Besides, now that the Church was separated from Rome, there was 
some satisfaction in making it as much so as possible, and in 
placing a deep gulf between her and the Kefonnation. The 
council accordingly ordered the abolition of the mass, and decreed 
that, next day, Holy Thursday, the Lord s Supper should be cele 
brated in accordance with apostolic usage. 

Zuingiius was eagerly occupied with these thoughts; and, at 
night, after he closed his eyes, he continued searching out argu 
ments to oppose his adversaries. The subject which had occupied 
him so much during the day, again presented itself in sleep. He 
dreamt that he was disputing with Am-Griit, and could not 
answer his leading objection. Suddenly a person appeared, and 
said "Why do you not quote Exodus, xii, 11. Ye shall eat it 
in haste ; it is the Lord s passover" Zuingiius awoke, leapt out 
of bed, took up the Septuagint translation, and found in it the very 
word urn (is) whose meaning here, by the confession of all, can 
only be signifies. 

Here, then, we have in the very institution of the passover under 
the Old Testament, the meaning for which Zuingiius contends. 
How then, is it possible to avoid the conclusion that the two pas 
sages are parallel ? 

The next day Zuingiius selected this passage for his text, and 
spoke so forcibly, that he removed all doubts. 

This circumstance, which is so naturally explained, and the ex 
pression used by Zuingiius, when he said, that he did not re 
member the appearance of the person whom he saw in his dream, 1 
have given rise to the charge that the Reformer learned his doctrine 
from the devil. 

Altars had disappeared ; and their places were supplied by single 
tables, on which stood the bread and wine of the eucharist, while 
an attentive congregation thronged around. There was something 
solemn in the numbers. On Holy Thursday, the young; on Friday 
(Passion day), adults ; and on Easter, the old, successively cele 
brated the Lord s death. 2 

The deacons read the passages of. Scripture which refer to the 
sacrament, the pastors addressed an earnest exhortation to the 
flock, urging all those who, by continuing in sin, would defile the 

1 Aterfuerit an albus nihil memini, somnium enim narro. Whether he was black 
r white, I remember not ; it was a dream. 3 Fusslin Beytr. iv, p. 64. 


body of the Lord Jesus to abstain from this sacred supper. The 
neople knelt; the bread was handed round on large platters or 
wooden plates, and each person broke a portion ; the wine was 
dispensed in wooden cups this being thought to approach nearest 
to the first institution. Surprise and joy filled all hearts. 

Thus the Reformation was effected in Zurich. The simple cele 
bration of the Lord s death seemed to have again infused into the 
Church the love of God, and the love of the brethren. The words 
of Jesus Christ were again spirit and life. While the different 
orders and different parties of the Church of Rome had never 
ceased to dispute with each other, the first effect of the gospel, on 
again entering the Church, was to establish charity among the 
brethren. The love of the primitive ages was restored to Christen 
dom. Enemies were seen renouncing old and inveterate hatred, 
and embracing each other, after having eaten together of the bread 
of the eucharist. Zuinglius, delighted at these touching manifesta 
tions, thanked God that the Lord s Supper was again performing 
those miracles of love which the sacrifice of the mass had long 
ceased to produce. 1 

"Peace dwells in our city," exclaimed he; "among us no pre 
tence, no dissension, no envy, no quarrel. Whence can such agree 
ment come but from the Lord; and because the doctrine which we 
preach disposes us to innocence and peace? 2 

There were now charity and unity, but not uniformity. Zuinglius, 
in his " Commentary on True and False Religion," which he dedi 
cated to Francis I, in March, 1525, the year of the battle of Pavia 3 
had presented some truths, in the manner best fitted to gain a re 
ception from human reason, in this following the example of 
several of the most distinguished scholastic theologians. Thus he 
had applied the term disease to original corruption, and restricted that 
of sin to the actual transgression of the law. 4 But these statements, 
though they called forth some remonstrances, did not interrupt 
brotherly love ; for Zuinglius, while persisting in calling original 
sin a disease, added, that, in consequence of it, all men were un 
done, and that the only remedy was in Jesus Christ. 5 There was 
therefore no Pelagian error here. 

1 Mit grossem verwundern viler Liithen und noch mit vil grossern frbuden deo 
glbubigen. (Bull. Chr. p. 264.) 2 Expositio fidei. (Zw. Op. ii, p. 241.) Ut 

tranquillitatis et innocentiae studiosos reddat. (Z\v. Ep. p; 390.) * De Vera et 

Falsa Religione Commentarius. (Zw. Op. iii, p. 145-325.) 5 Peccatum ergo 

morbus est cognatus nobis, quo fugimus aspera et gravia, sectamur jucunda et volup. 
tuosa : secundo loco accipitur peccatum pro eo quud contra legem fit. (Ibid., p. 204. j 
First, then, sin is a disease natural to us, by which we shun what is rough and 
grievous, pursue what is pleasing and voluptuous : in the second place, sin is taken 
for that which is done contrary to law. 6 Original! inorbo perdimur omnes; 

remedio vero quod contra ipsum invenit Deus, incolumitati restituimur. (De Pecc. 
Origin. Decl ad Urb. Rhegium. (Ibid., Op. iii, p. 632.) We are all lost by original 
disease, but restored to safety by the remedy which God has provided against it. 


But while the celebration of the Supper in Zurich was accom 
panied with a return to Christian brotherhood, Zuinglius and his 
friends had so much more to endure externally, from the irritation of 
adversaries. Zuinglius was not only a Christian leader ; he was 
also a true patriot ; and we know with what zeal he combated 
enlistment, pensions, and foreign alliances. He was convinced 
that these influences from abroad destroyed piety, blinded reason, 
and sowed discord. But his loud protestations must have hurt the 
progress of the Reformation. In almost all the cantons, the leaders 
who received foreign pensions, and the officers who led the Helvetic 
youth to battle, formed powerful factions, formidable oligarchies 
which attacked the Reformation, not so much from any view 
to the Church, as on account of the prejudicial effect it threatened 
to have to their interests and honours. They had already gained the 
day at Schwitz. This canton, in which Zuinglius, Leo Juda, and 
Myconius had taught, and which might have been expected to 
follow in the wake of Zurich, was again all at once opened to 
mercenary enlistments, and shut against the Reformation. 

At Zurich even, some wretches, stirred up by foreign intrigues, 
attacked Zuinglius in the middle of the night, threw stones at his 
house, broke his windows, and with loud cries called him " the red 
Uli, the vulture of Glaris ;" so that Zuinglius was awoke, and ran 
for his sword. 4 This circumstance is characteristic of the man. 

But these isolated attacks could not paralyse the movement 
which was carrying forward Zurich, and beginning to shake 
Switzerland. They were only like stones thrown in to arrest a 
torrent. The waters, rising on every side, threatened to break 
down the strongest obstacles. 

The Bernese having declared to the Zurichers that several states 
had refused to sit with them in diet in future. " Very well," re 
plied those of Zurich, calmly raising their hands to heaven, as the 
men of Rutli in former days, " we have a firm assurance that God 
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in whose name the Confederation 
was formed, will not forsake us, but will, at last, in mercy, give 
us a seat beside His Sovereign Majesty." 2 With such a faith the 
Reformation had nothing to fear. But will it gain similar victories 
in the other states of the Confederation ? Will not Zurich be left 
alone in favour of the Word? Will Berne, Basle, and other 
cantons besides, remain subject to the power of Rome ? We shall 
now see. Let as turn then towards Berne, and study the progress 
of the Reformation in the most influential state of the Confedera 

1 Tnterea sursrere Zuinglius ad ensem suum. (Zw. Op. iii, p. 411.) a Bey ihm 

".uletzt sitzen. (Kirclihof er. Ref. v. Bern. p. 55.) 



BerneThe Provost of Watteville First Successes of the Reformation Ilaller at 
the Convent Accusation and Deliverance The Monastery of Kbnigsfeld Mar 
garet of Watteville to Zuinglius .The Convent open Two opposite Champions 
Clara May and the Provost of Watteville. 

No where was the struggle to be keener than at Berne, where 
the gospel had at once powerful friends and formidable foes. At 
the head of the friends of the Reformation stood banneret John 
Weingarten, Bartholomew May, member of the little council, his 
sons, Wolfgang and Claudius, his grandchildren, James and Bene 
dict, and, above all, the family of Watteville. The avoyer James 
Watteville, who had, from 1512, filled the first place in the re 
public, had early read the writings of Luther and Zuinglius, and 
had often conversed on the gospel with John Haller, pastor at 
Alsentingen, whom he had protected against his persecutors. 

His son, Nicholas, aged thirty-one, had been for two years 
provost of the church of Berne ; and, as such, in virtue of papal 
ordinances, enjoyed great privileges. Hence, Berthold Haller 
called him " our bishop." l 

The prelates and the pope were exceedingly desirous to bind 
him to the interests of Rome, 2 and every thing might have been 
expected to estrange him from the knowledge of the gospel; but 
the agency of God was more powerful than the flattery of man. 
Watteville was converted from darkness to the pure light of the 
gospel, says Zuinglius. 3 The friend of Berthold Haller, he read all 
the letters which the latter received from Zuinglius, and could not 
sufficiently express his admiration. 4 

The interest of the two Wattevilles who were at the head, the 
one of the State, the other of the Church, might have been ex 
pected to carry the republic. But the opposite party was not less 

Among its leaders were observed the schultheiss of Erlach, ban 
neret Willading, and several patricians, whose interests were the 
same as those of the convents placed under their administration. 
Behind these influential individuals were an ignorant and corrupt 
clergy, who called the evangelical doctrine " an invention of hell". 

1 Episcopus noster Vaditillius. (Zw. Ep. p. 285.) 2 Tantum favoris et ami- 

cititc qua3 tibi cum tanto summorum pontificum et potentissimorurn episcoporum 
ccetu hactenus intercessit. (Zw. Op. i, old Latin Ed. p. 305.) You have had so much 
favour and friendship, from your intercourse hitherto, with so many pontiffs and 
powerful bishops. * Ex obseuris ignorantise tenebris in amoenam Evangelii 

lucem productum. (Ibid.) * Epistolas tuoe et eruditionis et humanitatis testes 

locupletissimas (Zw. Ep. p. 287.) Your letters very complete evidence 

both of your learning and accomplishments. 


In the month of July, counsellor Mullinen said in full assembly, 
" Dear confederates, take care that the Reformation do not gain 
upon us. In Zurich, people are not safe in their houses ; they re 
quire soldiers to defend them." In consequence, application was 
made to John Heim, the lecturer of the Dominicans at Mentz, who 
came to Berne, and began to inveigh, from the pulpit, with all the 
eloquence of St. Thomas, against the Reformation. 1 

Thus the two parties were arrayed against each other, the strug 
gle seemed inevitable, and even the result not doubtful. In fact, a 
common faith united a portion of the people to the most distin 
guished families of the state. Berthold Haller, full of confidence 
in the future, exclaimed, " Provided God s anger is not turned 
against us, it is impossible that the Word of God can be banished 
from this town, for the Bernese are hungering for it." 2 

Shortly after, two acts of the government seemed to throw the 
balance in the favour of the Reformation. The Bishop of Lausanne 
having announced an episcopal visitation, the council caused the 
provost Watteville intimate to him that the would have to dispense 
with it. 3 And, at the same time, the councils of Berne issued an 
ordinance, which, while it apparently made some concession to the 
enemies of the Reformation, consecrated its principles. They de 
creed that the Holy Gospel, and the doctrine of God, as it could 
be proved from the books of the Old and New Testament, should 
be preached freely and openly, and that nothing should be said of 
any doctrine, dispute or writing, proceeding from Luther or other 
teachers. 4 The surprise of the adversaries of th e Reformation was 
great when they saw the evangelical ministers loudly appealing to 
this ordinance. This decree, which was the basis of all which fol 
lowed, was the legal commencement of the Reformation in Berne. 
There was thenceforward more decision in the movement of this 
state, and Zuinglius, whose eye was attentive to all that took place 
in Switzerland, could write to the provost Watteville, U AH 
Christians rejoice because of this faith which the pious town of* 
Berne has just received." 5 " The cause is that of Christ," ex 
claimed the friends of the gospel ; 6 and they devoted themselves 
to it with still greater courage. 

The enemies of the Reformation, alarmed at these first advan 
tages, formed their phalanx, and resolved to strike a blow whici? 
would ensure the victory. They conceived the project of disen- 

1 Suo Thomistico Marte omnia invertere. (Zw. Ep. p. 287.) To overturn every thing 
by his Thomistical prowess. 2 Famem verbi Bernates habent. (Ibid., p. 295.] 

8 Ut nee oppidum, nee pagos Bernatum visitare prsetendat omnino. (Ibid.) That 
he should not propose at all to visit either the town or country of the Bernese. 

4 Alein das heilig Evangelium und die Jeer Gottes frey, offentlich und unverborgen. 
(Bull. Chr. p. 111.) 5 Alle Christen sich allenthalben frbuwend des Glauberiv 

. , , (Zw. Op. i, p. 426.) 6 Cbristi negotium agitur. (Zw. Ep. 9th May, 1523. 


cumbering themselves of those ministers whose audacious eloquence 
subverted the most ancient customs. A favourable opportunity 
soon occurred. There was in Berne, at the place now occupied 
by the hospital of the Isle, a convent of nuns of St. Dominic, de 
dicated to St. Michael. The day of this archangel (29th Septem 
ber) was a great festival in the monastery. This year it was at 
tended by several ecclesiastics, among others, by Wittembach of 
Bienne, Sebastian Meyer, and Berthold Haller. Having entered 
into conversation with the nuns, among whom was Clara, daugh 
ter of Claudius May, one of the props of the Reformation, Haller 
said to her, in presence of her grandmother, " The merits of the 
monastic state are imaginary, whereas marriage is an honourable 
state, having been instituted by God himself." Some nuns, to 
whom Clara related the conversation of Berthold, raised cries of 
terror. It was soon circulated in the town ; " Haller maintains 
that all nuns are children of the devil." . . . The opportunity sought 
by the enemies of the Reformation had arrived; they appeared 
before the lesser council, and referred to an ancient ordinance, 
which bore that any person carrying off a nun from the monastery 
should lose his head, but asked, " for a mitigation of the sentence," 
and that it should be considered sufficient without hearing the 
three ministers to banish them for life. The lesser council acceded 
to the petition, and the matter was speedily carried before the 
great council. 

Thus Berne was on the eve of being deprived of her Reformers. 
The intrigues of the papal party had prevailed. But Rome, 
though she triumphed when she addressed the oligarchs, was beaten 
before the people and their representatives. No sooner had the 
names of Haller, Meyer, and Wittembach, the men whom all Swit 
zerland venerated, been pronounced in the great council, than a 
powerful opposition was manifested to the lesser council and 
the clergy. " We cannot," exclaimed Tillman, " condemn the 
accused without hearing them. Their testimony is surely as good 
as that of some women." The ministers were then called. It was 
felt difficult to dispose of the affair. At length John of Wein- 
garten said, " Let us give credit to both parties." It was so de 
cided. The ministers were discharged, with a request, however, to 
meddle only with the pulpit and not with the cloister. But the 
pulpit was sufficient for them. The efforts of the enemy had re 
dounded to their disgrace. The Reformation had gained a great 
victory. Accordingly, one of the patricians exclaimed, " Now 
that everything is said, Luther s affair must go forward." * 

1 Es ist nun gethan. Deo Lutherische Handel muss vorgehen. (Anshelm. Wirtz. 
K. G. V. p. 290.) 



It did, in fact, go forward, and even in places where it might 
have been least expected. At Konigsfeld, near the castle of Haps- 
burg, stood a monastery adorned with all the monastic magnifi 
cence of the middle ages, and containing the ashes of several mem 
bers of the illustrious house which has given so many emperors to 
Germany. Here the greatest families of Switzerland and Suabia 
made their daughters take the veil. ISfot far from this spot, on 
1st May, 1308, the Emperor Albert had fallen under the dagger 
of his nephew, John of Suabia, and the beautiful painted window of 
the church of Konigsfeld represented the fearful punishments 
which had been inflicted on the relations and vassais of the guilty 
parties. Catherine of Waldburg-Truchsess, abbess of the convent, 
at the period of the ^Reformation, counted among her nuns Beatrice 
of Landenberg, sister of the Bishop of Constance, Agnes of Mulli- 
nen, Catherine of Bonnstetten, and Margaret of Watteville, the 
provost s sister. The liberty which this convent enjoyed, and 
which, at a former period had led to criminal irregularities, allowed 
the introduction of the Holy Scriptures, and the writings of Luther 
and Zuinglius. In a short time matters assumed an entirely new 
appearance. Near the cell to which Queen Agnes, the daughter 
of Albert, retired, besprinkled with blood, as it had been " May- 
dew," and where, spinning wool or working embroidery to orna 
ment the church, she had mingled acts of devotion and thoughts 
of vengeance, Margaret Watteville had only thoughts of peace ; 
read the Scriptures, and mingled salutary ingredients to compose 
an excellent electuary. Then, composing herself in her cell, the 
young nun ventured on the bold step of writing to the teacher of 
Switzerland. Her letter shows better than any observations could 
do, the Christian spirit which animated those pious females, who 
have been, and still, even in our day, are so much calumniated. 

" Grace and peace through the Lord Jesus Christ, be ever given 
and multiplied to you, by God our Heavenly Father," said the nun 
of Konigsfeld to Zuinglius. " Very learned, reverend, and dear 
Sir, I beseech you not to be oifended with the letter which I write to 
you. The love which is in Christ urges me to do it, especially 
since I have learned that the doctrine of salvation grows from day 
to day by your preaching of the Word of God. Wherefore, I offer 
up thanks to God Almighty for enlightening us anew, and sending 
us, by his Holy Spirit, so many heralds of his Holy Word; at the 
same time, I earnestly beseech Him to clothe you with His might, 
you and all those who proclaim His glad tidings, that arming you 
against all the enemies of the truth, He may make His Divine 
Word grow in every heart. Very learned Sir, I venture to send 
^you this small token of my affection. Deign not to despise it. 


It is the gift of Christian charity. If this electuary does you good, 
and you have any wish for more, let me know; it would give me 
great delight to do something that might be agreeable to you. I 
am not alone in this. The feeling is common to all who love the 
gospel in our convent of Kbnigsfeld. They present their salutations 
in Jesus Christ to your reverence, and we all together, without 
ceasing, recommend you to His mighty protection. 1 

" Saturday before Laetare/1523." 

Such was the pious letter of the nun of Kb nigsfeld to the teacher 
of Switzerland. 

A convent, into which gospel light had thus penetrated, could 
not long continue the practices of monastic life. Margaret Watte- 
ville, and her sisters, persuaded that they could serve God better 
in their families than in the cloister, asked leave to quit it. The 
council of Berne, in alarm, first tried to bring the nuns to reason ; 
the provincial and the abbess had recourse by turns to threats and 
promises. But the sisters, Margaret, Agnes, Catherine, and their 
friends were immoveable. Next the rules of the convent were re 
laxed. The nuns were exempted from fasts and matins, and 
their income was increased ; but they replied to the council, " It is 
not liberty of the flesh we ask, but liberty of the spirit. We, your 
poor and innocent prisoners, ask you to have pity on us." " Our 
prisoners, our prisoners," exclaimed banneret Krauchthaler, " I 
wont have them to be my prisoners." This, from one of the 
firmest supporters of convents, decided the council. The convent 
was thrown open, and shortly after, Catherine Bonnstetten mar 
ried William Diesbach. 

Still Berne, instead of frankly arraying itself on the side of the 

Keformers, kept a certain middle course, and endeavoured, as it 

were, to hold the balance between the two parties. A circumstance 

caused it to lay aside this equivocal procedure. Sebastian Meyer, 

lecturer to the Franciscans, published a recantation of Eoman 

errors, which produced a great sensation. Pourtraying the life of 

convents, he said, " Their inmates live more impurely, fall more 

frequently, rise more tardily, walk more uncertainly, repose more 

dangerously, show pity more rarely, reform more slowly, die more 

; desperately, and are punished more severely." 2 At the moment 

when Meyer was thus declaring against cloisters, John Helm, the 

Dominican reader, was exclaiming from the pulpit. " No; Christ 

I did not, as the evangelicals teach, give satisfaction to his Father 

once for all. God must be daily reconciled with men by the sac- 

1 Cujus prsesidio auxilioque prscsentissimo, nos vestram dignitatem assidue com- 
mendamus. (Zw. Ep. p. 280.) 2 Langsamer gereiniget, verzvveifelter stirbt 

barter verdamniet. (Kirchhofer Reform, v. Bern. p. 48.) 


rifice of the mass, and good works." Two citizens who were in 
the church, got up, and said, " It is not true." This led to great 
noise. Heim stood mute. Several urged him to continue, but he 
came down from the pulpit without finishing his discourse. The - 
next day the great council, with one blow, struck both Rome and 
the Reformation, banishing from the town the two great contro 
versialists, Meyer and Heim. " They are neither clear nor muddy," 1 j 
it was said of the Bernese, playing on the word Luther, which, in 
old German, means clear? 

But vain was the attempt to suppress the Reformation in Berne. 
It was making progress in every direction. The nuns of the mo 
nastery of the Isle had not forgotten Haller s visit. Clara May, 
and several of her friends, anxiously asking what they ought to do, 
wrote to the learned Henry Bullinger, who replied, " St. Paul enjoins 
young women not to make vows, but to marry ; and not live in idle 
ness, under a false semblance of piety. (] Tim. v, 13, 14.) Follow 
Jesus in humility, charity, patience, purity, and honesty." 1 Clara, 
seeking help from above, resolved to follow this advice, and quit a 
life contrary to the Word of God, invented by man, and fraught with 
seduction and sin. Her father, Bartholomew, who had passed fifty 
years on battle fields and in councils, rejoiced when he learned liis 
daughter s resolution. Clara quitted the convent. 

The provost, Nicolas Watteville, whose whole interest bound 
him to the Roman hierarchy, and who, on the first vacancy in 

1 Dass sie weder luther noch triih seyen. (Kirchofer s Ref., v, Bern., p. 50.) 

2 Romish writers, in particular M. Haller, have quoted from Salat and T. Tschudi, 
enemies of the Reformation, a pretended letter of Zuinglius addressed at this time to 
Kolb, at Berne. It is as follows : " Salvation and blessing from God our Lord. Dear 
Francis, move softly in the affair : throw the bear at first only one sour pear among 
several sweet ones throw two, then three. After he has begun to eat, keep always 
throwing more, sour and sweet, pell-mell ; at last shake out the whole bag, soft, hard, 
sweet, sour, and unripe. He will eat them all, and no longer allow any one to take 
them from him, or drive him away. Zurich, Monday before St. George, 1525. 

Your servant in Christ, ULE.ICH ZUINGLIUS." 

There are decisive reasons against the authenticity of this letter. I. In 1525, Kolb was 
pastor at Wertheimer. He did isot come to Berne till 1527. (See Zw., Ep. p. 521.) M. is true, substitutes 1527 for 1525, but very arbitrarily. The object of the cor 
rection, no doubt is easily seen ; but unfortunately, M. Haller, in making it, contra 
dicts Salat and Tschudi, who though they do not agree as to the day on which this letter 
was spoken of in the Diet, agree as to the year, both making it 1525. II. There is a 
difference as to the mode in which the letter was procured. One account is, that it was 
intercepted, another, that Kolb s parishioners communicated it to an inhabitants of 
the small cantons, who happened to be at Berne. III. The original is in German, 
whereas Zuinglius always wrote in Latin to his literary friends ; besides, he ad 
dressed them as their brother, not as their servant. IV. Any reader of the letters of 
Zuinglius must see that his style is the most opposite possible to that of the pretended 
letter. Never would Zuinglius have written a letter to say so little ; his epistles are 
usually long and full of news. To call the little pleasantry picked up by Salat a letter, 
is mere mockery. V. Salat deserves little confidence as a historian, and Tschudi 
appears to bave copied him with slight variations. It maybe that an inhabitant 
of the small cantons received from some inhabitant of Berne the letter of Zuinglius 
to Haller, (of which we have spoken in our second volume,) where Zuinglius very hap 
pily employs the comparison of the bear, which is met with in all the authors of that 
time. This may have suggested to some wit the idea of inventing this spurious letter 
and addressing it to Kolb as from Zuinglius. 3 Euerem Herrn Jesu nachfolget 

j Demuth. (Kirch. Ref., v, B. 60.) 



Switzerland, must have risen to the episcopal bench, also renounced 
his honours, his benefices, and his hopes, to keep a pure conscience, 
and, breaking off all the ties by which the popes had tried to 
entwine him, he entered the state of marriage instituted by God 
from the beginning of the creation. Nicolas Watteville married 
Clara May, and his sister Margaret, the nun of Kb nigsfeld, was, 
about the same time, united to Lucius Tscharner of Coire. 1 


Basle (Ecolampadius He goes to Augsburg He enters the Convent -He returns 
to Sickingen Returns to Basle Ulric You Hutten His projects Last Effort of 
Chivalry Hutteii dies at Uffnan. 

Thus every thing gave intimation of the triumphs which the 
Reformation was shortly to gain in Berne. A city of no less im 
portance, and at this time the Athens of Switzerland Basle 
began also to prepare for the great combat which signalises the 
sixteenth century. 

Each town of the Confederation had its peculiar aspect. Berne was 
the city of great families ; and there the question was apparently to be 
decided in favour of the party who should gain certain of the leading 
men of the city. At Zurich the ministers of the Word, as Zuin- 
glius, Leo Juda, Myconius, Schmidt, drew after them a powerful 
community of citizens. Lucerne was the town of arms and 
military enlistments. Basle that of knowledge and printing. Erasmus, 
the head of the republic of letters in the sixteenth century, had 
fixed his residence in it, and, preferring the liberty which he here 
enjoyed, to the seductive invitations of popes arid kings, had become 
the centre of a large circle of literary men. 

But a humble, meek, and pious man, inferior in genius to Erasmus, 
was soon to exercise over the town a more powerful influence than 
that of the prince of schools. Christopher Utenheim, Bishop of 
Constance, in concert with Erasmus, sought to gather round him 
men fitted to accomplish a kind of intermediate Reformation. 
With this view he gave an invitation to Capito and CEcolampadius. 
In the latter there was somewhat of the monk, which often annoyed 
the illustrious philosopher. But CEcolampadius soon became enthu 
siastically attached to him, and perhaps would have lost all his 
independence in this close relation, had not Providence removed 


Zw, Ep., Annotatio, p. 451. From this union the Tscharucrs of Berne are de- 

Q K 


him from his idol. In 1517, he returned to Weinsberg, his native 
town, and was shocked with the irregularities and profane jests of 
the priests. He has left us a fine memorial of the grave spirit 
which then animated him in his celebrated work " on the Easter 
Merriment" which appears to have been written about this time. 1 

Having been called, towards the end of 1518, to Augsburg, as 
preacher of the cathedral, he found this town still agitated by the 
famous interview which had taken place there in May, between 
Luther and the papal legate. It was necessary to take a part for 
or against : (Ecolampadius, without hesitation, declared for the 
Reformer. This frankness soon raised up a keen opposition against 
him, and, being convinced that his timidity, and the weakness of 
his voice, would not allow him to succeed in the world, he began 
to look around, and fixed his eye on a neighbouring convent of 
monks of St. Bridget, celebrated for their piety, and their profound 
and liberal studies. Feeling the want of repose, leisure, rest, and 
prayer, he turned toward these monks, and asked them, " Can one 
live with you according to the Word of God?" They having 
assured him that this could be done, (Ecolampadius crossed the 
threshold of the convent on the 23rd April, 1520, but under the 
express condition that he was free should ever the service of God 
call him elsewhere. 

It was well that the future Reformer of Basle should, like Luther, 
know this monastic life, which was the highest expression of Roman 
Catholicism. But he found no repose : his friends blamed the 
step ; and he himself declared openly that Luther was nearer the 
truth than his opponents. Hence Dr. Eck, and other Roman doc 
tors, followed him with menaces even into his calm retreat. 

At this time (Ecolampadius was neither one of the Reformed, 
nor a follower of Rome. He wished a kind of purified Catholicism, 
which no where exists in history, but the idea of which has served 
many as a kind of stepping-stone. He set about correcting the 
statutes of his order by the Word of God. " I pray you," said he 
to the friars, " don t esteem your ordinances more than the com 
mandments of the Lord/ The monks replied, " We wish no other 
rale than that of the Saviour. Take our books, and mark, as in 
the immediate presence of Christ, whatever you find contrary to his 
Word." (Ecolampadius began the task, but found it painfully 
wearisome. "Almighty God!" he exclaimed, "what abomina 
tions has not Rome approved in these statutes ! " 

No sooner had he pointed out some of these than the Avrath of the 
fri ars began to be kindled. Heretic," they exclaimed : apostate, 
you deserve a dark dungeon till the end of your days." He was 

1 Herzng, Studien und Kritiken, 1840, p. 334. 


excluded from the common prayers. But the danger was still 
greater from without. Eck and his people had not abandoned their 
projects. In three days he was told he was to be arrested. He 
went to the friars, and said to them, " Will you give me up to 
assassins?" The monks were speechless and irresolute. They 
were unwilling either to save or to destroy him. At this moment 
some friends of (Ecolampadms arrived near the cloister .with horses 
to conduct him to a place of safety. At this news the monks 
determined on allowing the departure of a brother who had brought 
trouble into their convent. u Adieu!" he said, and was free. He 
had been nearly two years in the cloister of St. Bridget. 

(Ecolampadius was saved : at length he again breathed. Writ 
ing to a friend he says : " I have sacrificed the monk and got back 
the Christian." But his flight from the convent and his heretical 
writings were every where known ; every where also people stood 
aloof on his approach. He knew not what to do, when, in the spring 
of 1522, Sickingen offered him an asylum, which he accepted. 

His spirit, which had been weighed down by monastic bondage, 
took a new spring amid the noble warriors of Ebernburg. "Christ 
is our liberty," exclaimed he, " and what men regard as the greatest 
misfortune death itself is to us true gain." He forthwith began 
to read the gospels and epistles to the people in German. " As 
soon as the trumpets resound," said he, "the walls of Jericho 
crumble away." 

Thus, in a fortress on the banks of the Rhine, amid boisterous 
knights, the most modest man of his age anticipated that transfor 
mation of worship which Christendom was soon to undergo. Ebern- 
burg, however, was too narrow for him; and he felt the want of 
other society than that of military men. The bookseller, Cratander, 
invited him to Basle. Sickingen gave his permission ; and (Ecolam 
padius, happy to revisit his old friends, arrived on the 16th No 
vember, 1522. After living for some time as a simple scholar, 
without public vocation, he was appointed vicar of the church of 
St. Martin ; and perhaps it was this call to a humble and unknown 
employment 1 that decided the Reformation of Basle. Whenever 
(Ecolampadius mounted the pulpit, an immense crowd filled the 
church. 2 At the same time the public lectures, given both by him 
and Pellican, were crowned with so much success, that even 
Erasmus was obliged to exclaim, " (Ecolampadius triumphs." 3 

In fact, says Zuinglius, this meek but firm man, shed around him 
the sweet savour of Christ, and all who heard him made progress in 

1 Meis sumtibus non sine ccmtemptu et invidia. (CEcol. ad P:rckh. de Eucharistia.) 

2 Dass er kein Predigt thate, er hatte ein machtig Volk darinn, savs Peter llyf, hi* 
eontemporav.v. (Wirtz., v, 350.) 3 (Ecolampadius apud nos triumphal;. (Era* 
ad Zuin. Zvv. Ep. p. 31 J.) 

3 p 


the truth.i Often, indeed, the news spread that he would soon be 
obliged to leave both, and again commence his adventurous travels. 
His friends, particularly Zuinglius, were in great alarm ; but the 
report of new successes gained by CEcolampadms, soon dissipated 
their fears, and strengthened their hopes. The fame of his labours 
even reached Wittemberg, and rejoiced Luther, who daily talked 
of him to Melancthon. Meantime the Saxon Reformer was not 
without uneasiness. Erasmus was at Basle, and Erasmus was the 
friend of GEcolampadius. Luther thought it his duty to put one 
whom he loved on his guard. "I much fear," he wrote, "that, 
like Moses, Erasmus will die in the plains of Moab, without con 
ducting us into the land of promise." 2 

Erasmus had retired to Basle, as a quiet town, situated in the 
centre of the literary movement, and from the bosom of which he 
could, by means of the printing-press of Frobenius, act upon France, 
Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and England. But he did not like 
to be disturbed, and if he felt some jealousy at (Ecolampadius T 
there was another man who inspired him with still greater alarm. 
TJlric Von Hutten had followed (Ecolampadius to Basle. For a 
long time he had attacked the pope as one knight attacks 
another. u The axe," said he, " is already laid to the root of the 
tree. Germans, yield not at the first brunt of the battle ; the die 
is cast the enterprise is begun. Liberty for ever !" He had aban 
doned Latin, and now wrote only in German ; for it was the people 
he wished to address. 

His ideas were grand and noble. An annual assembly of bishops 
was, according to him, to regulate the affairs of the Church. A 
Christian constitution, and, above all, a Christian spirit, was to 
spread from Germany as formerly from Judea, over the whole world. 
Charles V was to have been the young hero destined to realise the,- 
golden age ; but Hutten s hopes in him having been disappointed, 
he had turned to Sickingen, and asked from chivalry what the empire 
refused. Sickingen, at the head of the feudal nobility, had played 
a distinguished part in Germany ; but the princes had shortly after 
besieged him in his castle of Landstein, and the new engines, 
cannon and bullets, had battered down those old walls which had 
been accustomed to other kinds of assault. The taking of Land- 
stein had been the final defeat of chivalry, the decisive victory of 
artillery over lances and bucklers, the triumph of modern times: 
over the middle ages. Thus, the last exploit of knighthood, was to 
be in favour of the Reformation the first efforts of new weapons 
and wars was to be against it. The steel clad men who fell under 

1 Illi magis ac magis in omni bono augescunt. (Eras, ad Zwing. Zw. Ep. p. 312J 

2 Et in terrain promissionis ducere non potest. (L. Ep. ii, p. 353.) 


the unexpected force of bullets, and lay among the ruins of Land- 
stein, gave place to other knights. Other feats of arms were about 
to commence. A spiritual chivalry succeeded that of the Du Gues- 
clins and Bayards, and those old broken battlements, those riined 
walls, those aspiring heroes, proclaimed still more forcibly than 
Luther was able to do that it was not by such allies and such wea 
pons that the gospel of the Prince of Peace would gain the victory. 

With the downfall of Landstein and chivalry, had fallen all 
Hiitten s hopes. Over Sickingen s dead body he bade adieu to all 
the glorious days of which his imagination had dreamed, and, losing 
all confidence in man, all he now asked was a brief obscurity and 
repose. He came to seek them in Switzerland beside Erasmus. 
These two men had long been friends ; but the rude and boisterous 
knight, disdaining the judgment of others, always used to lay his 
hand on his sword, and, attacking right and left all whom he met, 
could seldom move in accordance with the delicate and timid 
Erasmus, with his refined manners, his smooth and polished ad 
dress, his eagerness for approbation, and his readiness to make 
every sacrifice to obtain it, fearing nothing in the world so much 
as a dispute. 

Hiitten having arrived at Basle a poor sick fugitive, immediately 
inquired for his old Mend. But Erasmus trembled at the thought 
of sharing his table with a man under the ban of the pope and the 
emperor, a man who would care for no one, borrow money of him, 
and doubtless bring after him a crowd of those "evangelists," of 
whom Erasmus was always becoming more afraid. 1 He refused 
to see him, and, shortly after, the magistrates of Basle begged Hiitten 
to leave the town. Hutten, mortified and irritated against his 
timid friend, retired to Mulhausen, and published a violent philippic 
against Erasmus, who wrote a very clever reply. The knight had 
seized the sword with both hands, and brought it down with force 
upon his adversary ; the scholar, dexterously slipping aside, had 
returned the strokes of the sword with strokes of his beak. 2 

Hutten behoved again to fly. He arrived at Zurich, where he 
met with a generous reception from the noble-minded Zuinglius. 
But cabals obliged him to quit this town also, and, after passing 
some time at the baths of Pfeffers, he repaired with a letter from 
the Swiss Reformer to the house of pastor John Schnepp, who dwelt 
in the little islet of Ufnau, on the Lake of Zurich. This poor 
minister received the poor exiled knight with the most touching 

1 Erasmus, in a letter to Melancthon, in which he tries to excuse himself, thus 
writes : " Ille egens et omnibus rebus destitutus qunerebat nidum aliquem ubi mo- 
veretur. Erat inihi gloriosus ille miles cum sua scabie in a?des recipiendus simulque 
recipiendus ilk chorus titulo Evangelicorum" (Er. Ep. p. 949.) " In want, and every 
way destitute, was looking out for some plnce where he might nestle. That vain 
glorious soldier, with his itch, was to be received into the house, and with him the 
med Evangelicals." - Expostulatio Ilutteni Erasmisooiijjia. 


charity. It was in this peaceful and unknown retreat, after a 
most agitated life banished by some, pursued by others, forsaken 
almost by all, after constantly combating superstition, yet, as it 
would seem, without even possessing the truth, Ulrick von Hutten, 
one of the most remarkable minds of the sixteenth century, died in 
obscurity towards the end of August, 1 523. The poor pastor, who was 
skilful in the healing art, had in vain given him all his care. With 
him died chivalry. He left neither money, nor furniture, nor 
books nothing in the world except a pen. 1 Thus was the hand 
of iron broken that had presumed to support the ark of God. 


Erasmus and Luther Uncertainty of Erasmus Luther to Erasmus Work of 
Erasmus against Luther on Free Will Three Opinions Effect on Luther Lu 
ther on Free Will The Jansenists and the Reformers Homage to Erasmus. 
Rage of Erasmus The Three Days. 

There was a man in Germany more formidable to Erasmus than 
the unfortunate knight ; this was Luther. The moment had arrived 
when the two greatest wrestlers of the age were to measure their 
powers in close combat. The two Reformations at which they 
aimed were very different. While Luther desired an entire Re 
formation, Erasmus, a friend of the middle course, sought to obtain 
concessions from the hierarchy, which might again unite the two 
extreme parties. The vacillation and uncertainty of Erasmus dis 
gusted Luther. He said to him, " You wish to walk on eggs 
without crushing them, and among glasses without breaking 
them." l 

At the same time, to the vacillation of Erasmus, he opposed! 
complete decision. " We Christians," said he, " ought to be sure 
of our doctrine, and know how to say yes or no without hesitating. 
To attempt to hinder us from affirming with perfect conviction 
what we believe, is to deprive us of faith itself. The Holy Spirit 
is not a sceptic. 2 He has written in our hearts a firm and power 
ful assurance, which makes us as certain of our faith, as we are ofi 
life itself." 

These words at once tell us on which side strength lay. Inj 
order to accomplish a religious transformation, there must be a| 

1 Libros nullos habuit, supellectilem nullam, prater calamum. (Zw. Ep. p. 313.] 
a Auf Eyern gehen und keinur zutreten. (L. Op. xix, p. 11.) 3 Der heilij 

(Jeist ist kein Scepticus. (Ibid. p. 8.) 


firm and living faith. A salutary resolution in the Church never 
.will proceed from philosophical views and human opinions. To 

ertilise the earth after long drought, the lightning must pierce the 

.loud, and the reservoirs of heaven be opened. Criticism, philo- 
sopliy, history even may prepare the paths for true faith, but 

annot supply its place. In vain do you clean out your canals and 
repair your embankments, so long as the water descends not from 
the sky. All human sciences without faith are only canals with 
out water. 

Whatever might be the essential difference between Luther and 
Erasmus, the friends of Luther, and Luther himself, long hoped to 
see Erasmus united with them against Rome. Sayings which his 
caustic humour let fall were reported, and showed his disagree- 
iment with the most zealous friends of Catholicism. One day, for 
instance, when he was in England, he had a keen discussion with 
feir Thos. More on transubstantiation. " Believe that you have the 
.body of Christ," aaid More, " and you have it really." Erasmus 
made no answer. Shortly after he left the banks of the Thames, 
and More lent him his horse to the sea- side ; but Erasmus took 

t with him to the continent. As soon as More knew of it, he 
reproached him in the keenest terms. Erasmus only answered by 
sending him the following stanza : 

Of Christ s body, this you declared the creed : 
" Believe you have it, and you have indeed." 
Apply the doctrine to your missing steed ; 
Believe you have it, and you have indeetL 

Erasmus had appeared in this character not only in England 
and Germany. At Paris it was said, " Luther has only widen 
ed the opening of the door of which Erasmus had previously picked 
the lock." 2 

The situation of Erasmus was difficult. In a letter to Zuinglius 
he says, " I Mill not be unfaithful to the cause of Christ, at least 
in so far as the age will permit." 3 In proportion as he saw 
Home bestirring herself against the Reformation, he, from pruden 
tial motives, drew off. He was applied to from all quarters the 
pope, the emperor, kings, princes, the learned ; and even his most 
intimate friends, urged him to write against the Reformer. 4 The 
pope wrote unto him " No work would be more agreeable to 

1 " Quod mihi dixisti nuper de corpore Christi : 

Crede quod habes et habes ; 
Hoc tibi rescribo tantum de tuo caballo : 
Crede quod habes et habes." 

(Paravicini, Singularia. p. 71.) 

2 Histoire Cathol.<Je notre temps, par S. Fontaine de 1 ordre de St. Francois, Paris, 
1562. 3 Quantum hoc seculum patitur. (Zw. Ep. p. 221.) * A Pontifice, a 

Caesare, a regibus et principibus, a doctissimis etiam et carissimis amicis hue provo- 
cor. ffirasm. Zw. Ep. p. 303.) 


God none more worthy of yourself and your genius." 1 For a 
long time Erasmus resisted these solicitations ; he could not dis 
guise from himself that the cause of the Reformers was the cause 
of religion as well as of letters. Besides, Luther was an opponent 
with whom none were fond of engaging, and Erasmus thought he 
could already feel the redoubled and sturdy blows of the champion 
of Wittemberg. In reply to a theologian of Rome he wrote : "It 
is easy to say, Write against Luther ; but it is a task pregnant 
with danger." 2 Thus he would, and yet would not. 

This irresolute conduct of Erasmus subjected him to the attacks 
of the most violent men of both parties. Luther himself found it 
difficult to reconcile the respect which he had for the learning of 
Erasmus with the indignation which he felt at his cowardice. He 
resolved to escape from this painful condition, and in April, 1524, 
wrote him a letter, which he gave to the care of Camerarius. "As 
yet," said he, "you have not received of the Lord the courage ne 
cessary to march with us to give battle to the papists. We bear 
with your weakness. If letters flourish, if they open to all the 
treasures of the Scriptures, it is a gift for which we are indebted, 
under God, to you a magnificent gift, for which our thanksgiv 
ings ascend to heaven. But do not abandon the task which has 
been imposed on you, in order to pass into our camp. "No doubt 
your eloquence and genius would be useful to us ; but since your 
courage fails you, remain where you are. I could wish that our 
people would allow your old age to slumber peacefully in the Lord. 
The greatness of our cause has long transcended your powers. But, 
on the other hand, my dear Erasmus, desist from throwing at us 
so many handfuls of pungent salt, which you know so well how to 
disguise under flowers of rhetoric. It is more painful to be slightly 
bitten by Erasmus, than to be ground to death by all papists put 
together. Content yourself with being the spectator of our tra 
gedy : 3 publish no book against me ; I, on my part, will publish 
none against you." 

Thus Luther, the man of war, asked for concord : it was Eras 
mus, the man of peace, who disturbed it. 

Erasmus received this proceeding on the part of the Reformer as 
the greatest of insults, and if he had not already resolved to write 
against Luther, it is probable that he resolved now. He replied, 
" Perhaps Erasmus, by writing against you, will do more service to 
the gospel than some fools who write for you, 4 and who do not 
allow me to be any longer a mere spectator of this tragedy. 

1 Nulla te et ingenio. eruditione, eloquentiaque tua dignior esse potest. (Adrianus 
Papa, Ep. Er. p. 1202.) 2 Res est periculi plena. (Er. Ep. p. 758.) 3 Specta 

tor tantum sis tragoedisc nostras. (L. Ep. ii, p. 501.) * Quidam stolidi scribentes 

pro tc. (Unschuldige Nachricht, p. 545.) 


But he had other motives also, 

Henry VIII of England, and the leading men of that kingdom, 
were extremely urgent that he should declare publicly against the 
Reformation. Erasmus, during a moment of courage, allowed the 
promise to be forced from him. Besides, his equivocal situation 
had become a continual torment to him : he loved repose, but the 
necessity he felt of continually vindicating himself troubled his life : 
he loved glory, but he was accused of fearing Luther, and of being 
too feeble to answer him : he was accustomed to the first place, 
but the little monk of Wittemberg had dethroned the mighty Eras 
mus. He behoved then, by a courageous act, to conquer back the 
place which he had lost. All ancient Christendom was imploring 
him to do so. Ability, and the greatest reputation of the age, 
were wanted to oppose the Reformation. Erasmus yielded. 

But what weapon was he going to employ ? Will he cause 
the thunders of the Vatican to roar? Will he defend abuses which 
are the disgrace of the papacy ? Erasmus could not do so. The 
great movement by which men s minds were agitated, after the death 
like lethargy which had lasted for so many ages, filled him with joy, 
and he would have feared to trammel it. Not being able to appear 
as the champion of Roman Catholicism, in regard to the additions 
which it has made to Christianity, he undertook to defend it in what 
it has cut off. In his attack upon Luther, Erasmus selected 
the point in which Catholicism is blended with rationalism 
the doctrine of free will, or of the natural power of man. Thus, 
while undertaking the defence of the Church, Erasmus pleased the 
men of the world ; while battling for the pope, he battled also for 
the philosophers. It has been said that he was awkwardly tram 
meled by an obscure and useless question. 1 Luther, the Reformers, 
and their age, thought otherwise. We agree with them. "I must 
acknowledge," said Luther, " that in this combat you are the only 
one who has seized your opponent by the throat. I thank you 
with all my heart, for I like better to deal with that subject than 
with all those secondary questions of the pope, purgatory, and in 
dulgences, with which, till this hour, the enemies of the gospel 
have pestered me. 2 

His own experience, and the attentive study of the Holy Scrip 
tures and of St. Augustin, had convinced Luther that the actual 
powers of man so incline him to evil, that all he can do of himself 
is to attain to a certain external decency, altogether insufficient in 
the eyes of the Deity. At the same time, he had learned that 

1 On this subject M. Nisard says Erasmi Revue des deux mondes, iii, p. 411, 
"One feels humbled for our species, on seeing men capable of grappling with eternal 
truths, spending their lives in fencing with men of straw, like gladiators making 
war on flies." 2 L. Op. xix. p. 146. 

K "2i 

God gives a true righteousness, by carrying on the work of faith 
through operation of the Holy Spirit. 

This doctrine had become the principle of his religious life, the 
predominant idea in his theology, and the point on which the 
whole Reformation turned. 

While Luther maintained that every thing good in man came 
from God, Erasmus took the side of those who thought that this good 
came from man himself. God or man . . . good or evil . . . 
these, surely, are not paltry questions; if these are such questions, 
they must be sought for elsewhere. 

In the autumn of 1524, Erasmus published his famous work, 
entitled " Disquisition on Free Will" No sooner had it appeared 
than the philosopher could scarcely credit his own courage. He 
trembled, while, .with eyes fixed on the arena, he beheld the 
gauntlet which he had just thrown down to his opponent. The 
die is cast, " wrote he, with emotion, to Henry VIII," the book 

on Free Will has appeared This, believe me, is a 

daring act. I expect to be stoned But I console 

myself by the example of your majesty, whom the wrath of those 
people has not spared." 1 

His alarm soon increased to such a degree, that he bitterly re 
gretted the step he had taken. " Why was I not allowed," he 
exclaimed, " to spend my age in the garden of the Muses I 
Here I am, at sixty, pushed violently forward into the arena, arid 

instead of the lyre, holding the cestus and net r 

"I know," said he to the Bishop of Rochester, " that in writing 

on free will, I was not in my sphere You congratulate 

me on my triumphs Ah, I know not in what I 

triumph! The faction (the Reformation) is daily increasing. 2 
Was it then my destiny that, at my age, I was to be transformed 
from a friend of the Muses into a miserable gladiator ? " . . 

It was much, doubtless, for the timid Erasmus to have taken the 
field against Luther. But still he was far from having given proof 
of great hardihood. He seems, in his book, to attribute little to 
the will of man, and to leave the greater part to divine grace ; but, 
at the same time, he chose his arguments in such a way as to make 
it be believed, that man does all, and God does nothing. Not 
daring to express his thoughts distinctly, he affirms one thing, and 
proves another ; leaving one at liberty to suppose that he believed 
what he proved, and not what he affirmed. 

He distinguishes three opinions opposed in different degrees to 
that of Pelagius. " Some," says he,. " think that man can neither 

1 Jacta est alea .... audax, mihi crede, facinus .... expecto lapida- 

tioncMn. (Er. Ep. p. 811.) 2 Quomodo triumphans nescio I actio 

crc*v:u in dies latius. (Ibid., p. 809.) 


will nor begin, far less accomplish any thing that is good, with 
out special and continual help from divine grace. This opinion 
seems probable enough. Others teach that the will of man has 
power only to do evil, and that grace alone performs in us any 
thing that is good ; and, lastly, there are some who maintain that 
there never was any free will, either in man or angels, either in 
Adam or in us, whether before or after grace, but tljat God pro 
duces in man both good or evil, and that every thing which takes 
place, happens through absolute necessity. 1 

Erasmus, while seeming to admit the first of these opinions, em 
ploys arguments which militate against it, and which may be 
employed by the most decided Pelagian. Thus, while referring to 
the passages of Scripture, in which God presents man with a choice 
of good and evil, he adds, " Man then must will and choose ; for 
it would be ridiculous to say to any one, Choose ! if it were not in 
his power to do so." 

Luther was not afraid of Erasmus. "Truth," said he, "is 
mightier than eloquence. The victory belongs to him who lisps 
the truth, and not to him who is eloquent in favour of falsehood." 2 

But when he received the work of Erasmus, he found the book 
so feeble, that he hesitated to answer it. "What!" said he to 
him, " so much eloquence in so bad a cause ; one would say it was 
a man serving up mire and filth on gold and silver plate. 3 It is 
impossible to get hold of you any where. You are like an eel 
which slips between the fingers ; or, like the Proteus of the poets, 
who changes in the very hand of the person who is trying to bind 

Meanwhile, as Luther did not answer, the monks and scholastic 
theologians began to shout : " Ah ! well, where is now your 
Luther? Where is the great Maccabeus? Let him enter the 
lists! Let him come forward ! Ah! ah! he has at length found 
the man that was wanted for him. He now knows how to keep 
in the back ground. He has learnt to hold his tongue." 4 

Luther saw that he behoved to answer; but it was not till the 
end of 1525 that he began to prepare; and Melancthon having 
intimated to Erasmus that Luther would use moderation, the 
philosopher was quite astonished. " If I hare written with 
moderation," said he, " it is my natural turn : but Luther has the 
indignation of the son of Peleus (Achilles). And how could it be 
otherwise ? When a ship encounters a tempest, like that which has 

i De libero arbitrio Aiarppj. (Erasmi Op. ix, p. 1215, sq.) 2 Victoria est 

penes balbutientem veritatem, non apud mendacein eloquentiam. (L. Ep. ii. p. 20J.) 

s Als \venn einer in silbern oder guldern Sclmsseln wollte mist und Unflath Auf- 
trapen. (L. Oj . xix, p. 4. * Sehet, s< liet nun da zu! wo ist nun Luther. 

Ibid., p. 3.) 


risen against Luther, what anchor, what ballast, what helm, would 
not be necessary to enable it to keep its course? Hence, if he 
answers me in a manner not in accordance with his character, 
these sycophants will exclaim that we understand one another." 1 
We will see that Erasmus was soon to be disencumbered of these 

The doctrine of an election by God, the only cause of man s 
salvation, had always been dear to the Reformer ; but, till now, he 
had only considered it in a practical point of view. In his reply 
to Erasmus, it presented itself to him in a speculative form ; and 
he laboured to prove, by the arguments which seemed to him most 
conclusive, that God does every thing in the conversion of man, 
and that our heart is so alienated from the love of God, that every 
sincere inclination to good can only proceed from the regenerating 
agency of the Holy Spirit. 

"To call our will a free will, 1 said he, "is to do like princes, 
who string together a long series of titles, calling themselves the 
lords of such and such kingdoms, such and such principalities, and 
distant islands (as Rhodes, Cyprus, and Jerusalem), while they 
have not the least power over them." At the same time, Luther 
here makes an important distinction, which shows well that he did 
not participate in the third opinion which Erasmus had described and 
imputed to him. " The will of man," says he, " may be called a free 
will, not in relation to what is above it that is to say, God, but in 
relation to what is beneath that is to say, the kings of the earth. 2 
When my goods, my fields, my house, my farm, are in question, I 
can act, make, and manage freely. But in things which regard salva 
tion, man is captive; he is subject to the will of God, or rather to 
that of the devil." 3 Among all the teachers of free will," exclaims 
he, " show me a single one who has in himself strength sufficient 
to endure a little injury, a passionate attack, or even a look from 
his enemy, and to do it joyfully, then, without even asking him 
to abandon his body, his goods, his honour, and all things, I de 
clare that you have gained your cause." 4 

Luther s eye was too piercing not to detect the contradictions 
into which his opponent had fallen. Accordingly he proceeded, in 
his reply, to enclose the philosopher in the net in which he had 
placed himself. " If the passages which you quote," said he, 
"prove that it is easy for us to do good, why do you dispute? 
What need have we of Christ and the Holy Spirit ? Christ has 
done foolishly in shedding his blood to procure us a strength, 

1 Ille si hie multum sui dissimilis fuerit, clamabunt sycophantse colludere nos. (Er. 

Ep. p. 819.) a Der Wille des Menschen mag (L. Op. xis, p> 29J 

3 Ibid., p. 33. * Ibid. 


which we already have from nature." In fact the passages quoted 
by Erasmus were to be interpreted in quite a different sense. This 
much debated question is clearer than at first sight it seems. 
When the Bible says to man, " Choose," it is because it presup 
poses the assistance of the grace of God, by which alone he can 
do what it commands. God, in giving the command, gives also 
the power to perform it. When Christ said to Lazarus, come 
forth, it was not because Lazarus could raise himself, but, because, 
in commanding him to come forth from the tomb, he gave him power 
to do so, and accompanied his word with creative power. He 
speaks, and it is done. Besides, it is quite true that the man 
whom God addresses must will ; it is himself that wills, and not 
another; but still he can receive this will only from God. It must, 
no doubt, be in the man ; and this command which God addresses 
to him, and which, according to Erasmus proves man s power, 
so reconcileable with the agency of God, that it is precisely the 
means by which this agency is carried on. God says to man, " Be 
converted," and while so saying, converts him. 

But the view on which Luther especially dwelt in his reply was, 
that the passages quoted by Erasmus, are designed to teach men 
what they ought to do, and their incapability of doing it, but not 
at all to acquaint them with this fancied power which is assigned 
to them. " How often does it happen," says Luther, " that a 
father calls his little child to him, saying, l My son, will you come? 
Come, come then ! in order the child may learn to cry for help, 
and allow itself to be carried by him." l 

After combating the arguments of Erasmus in favour of free 
will, Luther defends his own against the attacks of his opponent. 
" Dear Diatribe," says he ironically, " mighty heroine, who pre 
tend to have overthrown the word of the Lord in the gospel of 
St. John, Without me ye can do NOTHING, which you, however, 
regard as the strongest in my power, and call the Achilles of Luther, 
listen to me for a little. At all events, until you prove that this word 
nothing not only may, but must signify some little thing, all your 
high words, all your splendid illustrations, have no more effect than 
chips of straw would have in extinguishing an immense conflagra 
tion. What have we to do with the assertions This may mean; 
that may be understood thus when you are bound to demonstrate 
that it must be so understood. If you fail to do so, we take the 
declaration in its natural sense, and laugh at all your illustrations, 
your great preparations and pompous triumph." 2 

At length, in a second part, Luther shows, and always by 
Scripture, that it is the grace of God that does all. " In one 

i L. Op. xix, p. 55. a ibid. p. llfl^ 


word," says he at the end, u since Scripture uniformly opposes 
Christ to all that is not Christ ; since it declares that whatever is 
not Christ and in Christ, is under the power of error, darkness, the 
devil, death, sin, and the wrath of God, it follows that all the 
passages of the Bible which speak of Christ are contrary to free 
will. Now, these passages are innumerable ; the Sacred Volume 
is filled with them. 1 " 

We see that the discussion between Luther and Erasmus is the 
same as that which, a century later, took place between the Jan- 
senists and the Jesuits between Pascal and Molina. 2 To what 
is it owing, that while the Reformation has had such mighty re 
sults, Jansenism, defended by the most distinguished geniuses, has 
been suppressed without force? It is because Jansenism went 
back to St. Augustin, and leant upon the fathers ; whereas the 
Reformation went back to the Bible, and leant upon the Word of 
God. It is because Jansenism made a compromise with Rome, and 
wished to establish a medium between truth and error ; the Refor 
mation confided in God alone, cleared away the soil, removed all 
the human rubbish which had covered it for ages, and laid bare 
the primitive rock. To stop midway is useless labour ; in all 
things it is proper to go forward to the end. Hence, while 
Jansenism has passed away, the destinies of the world are bound 
up with evangelical Christianity. 

Luther, after keenly refuting the error, paid a brilliant, but 
perhaps somewhat sarcastic, homage to the person of Erasmus. 
" I confess," said he, " that you are a great man. Where were 
more learning, intellect, ability in writing and speaking ever seen ? 
For myself I have nothing of the kind ; there is only one thing 
from which I can derive any glory. . . . I am a Christian. 
May God raise you in the knowledge of the gospel, infinitely above 
me, so that you may surpass me as much in this respect, as you 
already do in every other." 3 

Erasmus was beside himself on reading Luther s reply ; he 
would see nothing in his compliments but the honey of a poisoned 
cup, or the embrace of a serpent. He immediately wrote to the 
Elector of Saxony, demanding justice ; and Luther having tried to 
appease him, he laid aside his ordinary habit, and as one of his 
most ardent apologists expresses it, began " to inveigh in a broken 
voice and grey hairs." 4 

Erasmus was vanquished. Moderation had been his forte, and 
he had now lost it. The energy of Luther he could only supply 

1 L. Op. xix, p. 143. 2 It is needless to say that I do not mean personal dis 

cussions between individuals, the one of whom died in IfiOO, and the other was not 
born till 1623. L. Op. xix, p. 146, 147. * M. Nisard. Erasme, p. 419. 



by rage. The wise man wanted wisdom. He replied, publicly, in 
his Hyperapistes, accusing the Reformer of barbarism, falsehood, 
and blasphemy. The philosopher even went the length of pro 
phesying. " I prophesy," said he, " that no name under the sun 
will be more execrated than that of Luther." This prophecy, 
after a lapse of three centuries, was answered on the jubilee of 
1817, by the enthusiastic acclamations of the whole. Protestant 

Thus, while Luther, with the Bible, placed himself at the head of 
his age, Erasmus, in opposing him, wished to occupy the same 
place with philosophy. Which of the two leaders has been fol 
lowed ? Both, no doubt. Nevertheless, the influence of Luther 
on the nations of Christendom has been infinitely greater than that 
of Erasmus. Even those who did not well understand the matter 
in dispute, seeing the conviction of one of the antagonists, and the 
doubts of the other, could not help believing that the former was 
in the right and the latter in the wrong. It has been said that the 
three last centuries, the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth, 
may be conceived as an immense battle of three days. 1 We wil 
lingly adopt the happy expression, but not the part which is as 
signed to each day. The same task is given to the sixteenth and 
to the eighteenth century. The first day and the last it is philo 
sophy that breaks the ranks. The sixteenth century philosophi 
cal ! Strange mistake. No ; each of these days had a distinct and 
striking characteristic. The first day of battle, it was the Word 
of God and the Gospel of Christ that triumphed. Then Rome was 
defeated, as well as philosophy, in the person of Erasmus and her 
other representatives. The second day, we admit Rome, her au 
thority, her discipline, and her doctrine re-appear, and are on the 
eve of triumphing, by the intrigues of a celebrated society and the 
power of the scaffold, as well as by some characters of great veracity 
and men of distinguished genius. The third day, human philosophy 
rises up in all its pride ; and finding not the gospel but Rome on 
the field of battle, makes easy work, and soon carries all the en 
trenchments. The first day is the battle of God, the second the 
battle of the priest, and the third the battle of reason. What will 
be the fourth? The confused melee, we think, the furious battle 
of all the powers together, to terminate in the triumph of Him to 
whom the triumph belongs. 

1 Port Royal, by Sainte Beuve, vol. i, p. 20. 



The Three Adversaries Source of the Truth Anabaptism Anabaptism and Zu- 
inglius Constitution of the Church Prison The Prophet Blaurock Anabap 
tism at St. Gall An Anabaptist family Dispute at ZurichThe limits of the 
Reformation Punishment of the Anabaptists. 

But the battle which the Keformation fought on the grand clay 
of the sixteenth century was not one only : it was manifold. The 
Keformation had at once several enemies to combat. After pro 
testing against the decretals and supremacy of the popes, next 
against the cold apophthegms of the rationalists, philosophers, and 
schoolmen 5 it at ^he same time stood up against the reveries of en 
thusiasm, and the hallucinations of mysticism opposing to these 
three powers at once the sword and buckler of Divine revelation. 

It must be admitted that there is a great resemblance, a remark 
able unity in these three adverse powers. The false systems which 
in all ages are most opposed to evangelical Christianity, are always 
characterised by their making religions knowledge proceed from 
within the man himself. Rationalism makes it proceed from rea 
son; mysticism, from some internal light; Roman Catholicism, 
from an illumination of the pope. These three errors seek the truth 
in man ; evangelical Christianity seeks it wholly in God. While 
rationalism, mysticism, and Roman Catholicism admit a permanent 
inspiration in certain persons like ourselves, and thus open the 
door to all errors and all variations, evangelical Christianity recog 
nises this inspiration only in the writings of the Apostles and Pro 
phets, and alone exhibits that grand, and beautiful, and living 
unity, which flows always the same through all ages. 

The work of the Reformation was to re-establish the rights of 
the Word of God, in opposition not only to Roman Catholicism, 
but also rationalism and to mysticism itself. 

The fanaticism of the Anabaptists being extinguished in Ger 
many by Luther s return to Wittemberg, re-appeared in force in 
Switzerland, threatening the edifice which Zuinglius, Haller, and 
(Ecolampadius had built on the Word of God. Thomas Munzer, 
when obliged to quit Saxony in 1521, haft arrived on the frontiers 
of Switzerland. Conrad Grebel, whose restless and ardent temper 
we have already mentioned, had become connected with him, as 
well as Felix Manz, son of a canon, and some other inhabitants of 
Zurich. Grebel had immediately tried to gain Zuinglius. In vain 
had Zuinglius gone farther than Luther. He saw a party rising 
that wished to go still farther than he. " Let us," said Grebel to 



him, "form a community of true believers; for to them alone the 
promise belongs 5 and let us establish a church in which there is 
no sin." 1 " We cannot," said Zuinglius, " introduce heaven upon 
earth, and Christ has taught us that we must allow the tares to 
grow among the wheat." 2 

Grebel, having failed with Zuinglius, was desirous to appeal to 
the people. u The whole Zurich community," said he, "must de 
cide supremely on matters of faith." But Zuinglius dreaded the 
influence which radical enthusiasts might exercise over a large as 
sembly. He thought that, except in unusual cases, where the 
people might be called to give in their adherence, it was better to 
confide religious interests to a college, which might be considered 
as the elite of the representatives of the Church. Consequently, 
the Council of Two Hundred, which exercised political supremacy 
in Zurich, was also intrusted with ecclesiastical power, under the 
express condition that they should conform in every respect to the 
rule of Holy Scripture. No doubt it would have been better 
to constitute the Church fully, and call upon it to name its own 
representatives, who should be intrusted only with the religious 
interests of the people ; for he who is capable of managing the in 
terests of the State may be very unfit to manage those of the 
Church, and vice versa. Nevertheless, the inconveniences were 
not so serious then as they might be at this time, as the members 
of the Grand Council had entered frankly into the religious move 
ment. Be this as it may, Zuinglius, while appealing to the Church, 
avoided bringing it too much upon the stage, and preferred the re 
presentation system to the active sovereignty of the people. 

This is what the States of Europe, after the lapse of three cen 
times, are doing in the political sphere. Repulsed by Zuinglius, 
Grebel turned in another direction. Roubli, superannuated pastor 
at Basle, Brodtlein, pastor at Zollekon, and Louis Herzer, gave 
him a cordial reception. They determined to form an independent 
community in the midst of the great community a church in the 
midst of the Church. A new baptism was to enable them to re 
assemble their congregation, composed exclusively of true be 
lievers. " The baptism of infants," said they, " is a horrible abo 
mination a manifest impiety, invented by the evil spirit, and by 
Nicholas II, Pope of Rome. 3 

The council of Zurich taking the alarm, ordered a public discus 
sion ; and the Anabaptists refusing to abjure their errors, some 
Zurichers among them were imprisoned, and some strangers ban- 

1 Vermeintend ein Kirchen /e versammlen die one Siind war. (Zw. Op. ii- p. 281.) 

2 Zw. Op. iii, p. 362. s Imjiietatem manifestissimam, a cacodaemone, a Nicolao 
II, esse. (Hottinger, iii, p. 219.) 


ished. But persecution only increased their fervour. " Not with 
words only," they exclaimed, " but with our blood are we ready- 
to bear testimony to the truth of our cause." Some, girding them 
selves with cords or osier-twigs, went up and down the streets 
crying, " A few days, and Zurich will be destroyed. Woe to thee, 
Zurich! woe! woe!" Several used blasphemous expressions. 
" Baptism," they said, " is a bath for a dog : it is of no more use 
to baptise a child than to baptise a cat." l Simple and pious people 
were moved and amazed. Fourteen men, among them Felix 
Maritz and seven women, were seized and put on bread and water 
in the heretics tower. After a fortnight s confinement, they sue- 1 
eeeded in raising some planks during the night, and, assisting one 
another, made their escape. " An angel," they said, " had open 
ed the prison andlet them out." 2 

A monk who had escaped from his convent, George Jacob de 
Coire, surnamed Blaurock, because it seems he always wore a blue 
coat, joined them, and was, on account of his eloquence, called the 
second St. Paul. This bold monk went from place to place, by his 
imposing fervour constraining people to receive his baptism. One 
Sunday at Zollekon, while the deacon was preaching, the impetu 
ous Anabaptist interrupting him, exclaimed in a voice of thunder, 
" It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye 
have made it a den of thieves." Then lifting his staff which he had 
in his hand, he violently struck four blows. 

" I am a door," exclaimed he, "whosoever will enter in by me 
will find pasture. I am a good shepherd. My body I give to the 
prison ; my life I give to the sword, the scaffold, or the wheel. I 
am the beginning of baptism and of the bread of the Lord." 3 

Zuinglius still opposing the torrent of Anabaptism in Zurich, St. 
Gall was soon inundated by it. G rebel arrived, and was received 
by the brethren with acclamation ; and on Palm Sunday, having re 
paired with a number of his adherents to the banks of the Sitter, 
he baptised them. 

The news immediately spread to the neighbouring cantons, and 
a great crowd flocked from Zurich, Appenzel, and divers other 
places, to " little Jerusalem." 

Zuinglius was heart-broken at the sight of this agitation. He 
saw a storm bursting on those districts in which the seed of the 
gospel was just beginning to spring. 4 He resolved to oppose these 
disorders, and composed a treatise " on baptism," 5 which the coun- 

1 Nutzete eben so viel als wenn man eine Katze taufet. (Fiissl. Beytr. i, p. 2*3.) 

2 Wie die Apostel von dem Engel Gottes gelediget. (Bull. Chr. p. 261.) 3 Ich 
bin ein Anfanger der Taufe und des Herrn Erodes. (Fussl. Beytr. i, p. 264.) 

* Mich beduret seer das ungewitter. . . . (Zw. to the Council of St. Gall, ii, p. 230.) 
5 Vom Touf, vom Widertouf, und votn Kindertouf, (Zw. Op. ii, p. 230.) 


of St. Gall, to whom he dedicated it, ordered to be read ia 
urch before all the people. 

"Very deai brethren in God," said Zninglins, " the torrent which 
leaps from our rocks, soon washes down whatever it reaches. At first 

i fit is only small stones ; but these are carried violently against larger 
ones, until the torrent becomes so powerful that it carries away 
every thing it meets, and leaves nothing behind it bat screams 
and useless lamentations and fertile meadows turned into a desert. 
The spirit of disputation and self-righteousness acts in the same 

; way : it excites disorders, destroys charity, and where it found fair 
and flourishing churches, leaves nothing behind it but flocks plunged 

I into mourning and despair." 

Thus spoke Zuinglius, the mountaineer of the Tockenburg. 
" Tell us the Word of God," exclaimed an Anabaptist who was in 
the church, " and not the word of Zuinglius." Confused voices 
were immediately heard. " Let him take away the book, let him 
fake away the book," exclaimed the Anabaptists. They then rose 
and quitted the church, crying, " Keep the doctrine of Zuinglius : 

Iks for us, we will keep the Word of God." 1 

This fanaticism manifested itself by still more lamentable dis 
orders. Under the pretext that the Lord commands us to become 
like children, these poor creatures began to leap in the streets, 
clapping then hands, to dance a jig together, to squat on the 
ground, and to roll one another on the sand. Some burnt the New 
Testament, saying, " The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life," 
and, several falling into convulsions, pretended that they had reve 
lations of the Spirit. 

In a lonely house, situated near St. Gall, on the Mtillegg, lived 
a farmer of eighty John Schucker, with his five sons. They had 
all, as well as their servants, received the new baptism, and two 
of the sons, Thomas and Leonard, were distinguished for their 
fanaticism. On the 7th of February, 1526, (Shrove Tuesday) 
they invited a great number of Anabaptists to meet at their house, 
and the father caused a calf to be killed for the occasion. The 
viands, the wine, and the numerous assemblage, heated their ima 
ginations ; they passed the whole night in converse and fanatical 
gesticulations, convulsions, visions, and revelations. 2 

In the morning, Thomas, still agitated by the proceedings of the 
night, and having even, as it appears, lost his reason, took the 
bladder of the calf, put some of its gall into it, wishing thus to 
imitate the symbolical language of the prophets, and, approaching 
his brother Leonard, said to him in a grave voice, "Thus, bitter 

1 So wollen \vir Gottes Wort haben. (Zw. to the Council of St. Gall, ii, p. 237.) 
1 Mit wunderbaen geperden und gesnrachen, verzucken gcsichten, und offeubarun- 
fjen. (Bujl. CIir,i, p, 324.) 

* 9 


is the death which you must endure." Then he added, " Brother 
Leonard, go down on your knees." Leonard knelt. Shortly after. 
" Leonard rise." Leonard rose up. The father, the brothers, and 
the other Anabaptists, looked on in astonishment, asking what God 
meant to do. Shortly Thomas resumed : " Leonard, kneel again.-* 
Leonard did so. The spectators alarmed at the dismal look of the 
poor wretch, said to him, " Think of what you are doing, and take 
care no mischief happen." "Fear not," replied Thomas: "no 
thing will happen but the will of our Father." At the same time 
he suddenly seized a sword, and bringing it down with force on his 
brother, who was kneeling before him as a criminal before the 
executioner, he cut off his head, and exclaimed, "Now the will of 
the Father is done." All who were standing round started back 
in horror, and the farm resounded with cries and groans. Thomas, 
whose whole clothing was shirt and pantaloons, went off barefoot and 
bareheaded, out of the house, and ran towards St. Gall, making frantic 
gestures. He entered the house of burgomaster Joachim Vadian, 
and, with haggard looks and loud cries, said to him, "I announce 
to thee the day of the Lord." The fearful news spread through St. 
Gall, " He has, like Cain," it was said, "killed his brother Abel." 1 
The culprit was seized. "It is true I did it," repeated he inces 
santly ; " but God did it by me." On the 16th February this poor 
creature was beheaded by the hand of the executioner. Fanaticism 
had made its last effort. The eyes of all were opened ; and, as an 
old historian says, the same stroke cut off the head of Thomas 
Schucker and that of Anabaptism in St. Gall. 

It still reigned at Zurich. On the 6th November of the previous 
year, a public discussion had taken place to please the Anabaptists, 
who kept continually crying, that they were condemning the inno 
cent without a hearing. The three following theses were proposed 
by Zuinglius and his friends as the subject of the conference, and 
victoriously maintained by them in the hall of conference. 

" Children born of believing parents, are children of God, like 
those who were born under the Old Testament, and, consequently, 
they may receive baptism. 

" Baptism is under the New what circumcision was under the 
Old Testament ; consequently baptism must now be administered 
to children as circumcision was. 

" The custom of baptising anew cannot be proved either from ex 
amples, or from passages of Scripture, or reasons derived from Scrip 
ture. Those who get themselves re-baptised, crucify Jesus Christ." 

But the Anabaptists did not confine themselves to merely religious 
questions. They demanded the abolition of tithes, considering, said 

1 Glych wie Kain den Abel sinen bruder eruaort hatJ (Bull. Chr., i, p. 324.) 


they, that they are not of divine institution. Zuinglius replied that 
on tithes depended the maintenance of churches and schools. He 
wished a complete religious reform ; but he was determined not to allow 
the public order, or political institutions to be interfered with in the 
least degree. This was the limit where he saw written in the hand 
writing of God these words, "Hitherto shalt thou^come, but no 
farther." 1 It was necessary to stop somewhere ; and here Zum 
glius and the Reformers stopped, in spite of the impetuous men who 
strove to hurry them still farther. 

Still, though the Reformers stopped, they could not stop the 
enthusiasts who seemed placed beside them to bring out their wis 
dom and soberness. The Anabaptists did not think it enough to 
have formed a church. This church was in their eyes the true 
state. Were they cited before the courts, they declared that they 
would not recognise civil authority, which was only a remnant of 
paganism, and that they obeyed no other power but God. They 
taught that Christians were not permitted to exercise public func 
tions, or bear the sword, and similar in that to certain irreligious 
enthusiasts who have appeared in our day, they regarded a com 
munity of goods as the beau ideal of humanity. 2 

Thus the danger increased : civil society was menaced, and 
arose to reject these destructive elements from its bosom. The 
government, in alarm, allowed themselves to be dragged into strange 
measures. Determined to make an example, they condemned Mantz 
to be drowned. On the 5th January, 1527, he was placed in a 
boat. His mother, who had formerly been the canon s concubine, 
and his brother, were among the crowd that accompanied him to 
the water-edge. "Persevere even to the end," exclaimed they to 
him. At the moment when the executioner made ready to throw 
Mantz into the lake, his brother melted into tears ; but his mother 
stood by calm, with resolute heart, dry and sparkling eye, to wit 
ness the martyrdom of her son. 3 

The same day Blaurock was beaten with rods. As they were 
taking him out of the town, he shook his blue coat and the dust on 
his feet against it. 4 It appears that this poor man was, at a later 
period, burnt alive by the Roman Catholics of the Tyrol. 

No doubt there was a spirit of revolt among the Anabaptists : with 
out doubt the ancient ecclesiastical law, which condemned heretics 
to death, was still in force, and the Reformation could not, in one 
year or two, reform all errors. No doubt, moreover, the Catholic 
states would have accused the Protestant states of encouraging 

1 Job, xxxviii, 11. 2 Fussl. Beytr., i, p. 229-258 : ii, p. 263. 3 Ohne das er 

Oder die Mutter, sondern nur der Bruder geweiuet. (Hott. Ilelv., K. Gesch, iii, p. 385.) 

4 Und schiittlet sinen blauen rock und sine schiich iiber die Statt Zurich. (Bull- 
Chr., i, p. 38 J.) 


disorder; but these considerations, while they explain the rigour of 
the magistrate, cannot justify it. Measures might have been taken 
against every assault made on the civil constitution ; but religious 
errors, combated by religious teachers, ought to have had entiro 
exemption from civil courts. Such opinions are not lashed away 
with the whip they are not drowned when those who profess them 
are thrown into the water : they rise up from the bottom of the 
abyss, and the fire only kindles in their adherents greater enthu 
siasm and thirst for martyrdom. Zuinglius, whose sentiments ou 
this head we have already seen, took no part in these severities. 1 


Popish Immobility Protestant Progression Zuinglius and Luther Zuinglius and 
the Lord s Supper Luther s great Principle Carlstadt s writings prohibited 
Zuinglius s Commentary The Suabian Syngram Capito and Bucer Need of 
unity in diversity. 

Baptism, however, was not the only subject on which dissension 
was to arise. The doctrine of the Supper was to occasion it in a 
*till graver form. 

The human mind, freed from the yoke under which it had 
groaned for so many ages, availed itself of its freedom ; and if 
Roman Catholicism had its rocks of despotism, Protestantism had 
cause to fear rocks of anarchy. The characteristic of Protestantism 
is movement, as that of Rome is immobility. 

Roman Catholicism, which possesses in the papacy a means of 
incessantly establishing new doctrines, does indeed at first appear 
to have a principle eminently favourable to variations. This it 
has used to a large extent; and we see Rome, from age to age, 
producing or ratifying new dogmas. But when once its system 
was completed, Roman Catholicism became the champion of im 
mobility. Its safety lies here. It is like one of those tottering 
buildings, from which nothing can be taken away without pro 
ducing a ruin. Allow the priests of Rome to marry, or do away 
with the doctrine of transubstantiation, and the whole system is 
shaken, the whole edifice falls. 

It is not so with evangelical Christianity. Its principle is much 
less favourable to variations, and much more favourable to motion 
and life. On the one hand, the only source of truth which it re- 

1 Quod homines seditiosi, reipublicse turbatores, magistratuum hostes,justa Sena- 
tus sententia, damnati sunt, num id Zwinglio fraudi esse poterit ? (Rod. Gualther 
Bpist. ad lectorem, Op. 1544, ii.) Can it be any charge against Zuinglius, that sedi 
tious men, disturbers of the common weal and enemies of the magistrates, were co- 
demned by a just sentence of the Senate? 


cognises is one Scripture, stand ing alone, always the same from the 
beginning of the Church to its end ; how then could it vary as the 
papacy has done. But, on the other hand, each Christian must 
go and draw for himself at this source. Hence arise motion and 
liberty. Thus evangelical Christianity, while it is in the nine 
teenth century what it was in the sixteenth, and also in the first, 
is at all times full of energy and activity, filling the world with 
researches, labours, Bibles, missionaries, light, salvation, and life. 

It is a great error to rank and almost confound evangelical 
Christianity with mysticism and rationalism, and impute their 
vagaries to it. Movement is natural to evangelical Protestantism ; 
it has an antipathy to immobility and death ; but it is the move 
ment of health and life that characterises it, and not the aberra 
tions of the man who has lost his senses, or the agitations of 
disease. We are going to see this characteristic manifested in the 
doctrine of the Supper. 

This was to be expected. This doctrine had received divers 
interpretations in the early days of the Church, and this diversity 
subsisted, until the period when the doctrine of transubstantiation 
and the scholastic theology began, at the same time, to exert an 
ascendancy over the middle ages. This ascendancy having been 
shaken, the ancient diversity behoved to re-appear. 

Zuinglius and Luther, after having been developed apart, the 
former in Switzerland, the latter in Saxony, were one day to meet 
in presence of each other. They were animated by the same 
spirit, and, in many respects, by the same character. Both were 
full of love for truth and hatred for injustice : both were naturally 
violent ; and in both this violence was tempered by sincere piety. 
But there was a feature in the character of Zuinglius which carried 
him farther onward than Luther. He loved liberty not merely as 
a man, but as a republican, a countrymen of Tell. Accustomed 
to the decisions of a free state, he did not allow himself to be ar 
rested by considerations before which Luther recoiled. He had, 
moreover, studied scholastic theology less than Luther, and in this 
way was less under trammels. Both ardently attached to their inmost 
convictions, both determined to defend them, and little accustomed 
to bend before the convictions of others, they were to meet, like 
two fiery steeds, which rush into battle, and suddenly encounter each 

A practical tendency predominated in Zuinglius, and in the Re 
formation, of which he was the author ; and this tendency was 
directed to two great results to simplicity in worship, and to 
holiness in life. To bring worship into accordance with the wants 
of the mind, which seeks not external poir$, but things invisible, 


was the first want of Zuinglius. The idea of a corporal presence 
of Jesus Christ in the Supper an idea, the source of all the cere 
monies and all the superstitions of the Church, behoved to be 
abolished. But another longing of the Swiss Reformer led him to 
the same results. He found that the doctrine of Rome on the 
Supper, and even that of Luther, pre- supposed a certain magical 
influence prejudicial to sanctification. He feared that the Christian, 
in imagining that he received Jesus Christ in the consecrated 
bread, would not be so zealous in seeking to be united to him by 
heart-felt faith. " Faith," said he, " is not knowledge, opinion, 
imagination, it is a reality. 1 It brings with it a real union in 
things divine." Hence, whatever the enemies of Zuinglius may 
allege, it was not a leaning to rationalism, but a profoundly re 
ligious idea, that led him to the adoption of his peculiar views. 
The result of the labours of Zuinglius coincided with his tendencies. 
In studying the Scriptures as a whole, as he was accustomed to do, 
and not merely in detached portions , and in having recourse to 
the classics, in order to solve any difficulties of expression, he came 
to be convinced that the word w, in the institution of the Supper, 
must be taken in the sense of signifies; and, as early as 1523, he 
wrote to a Mend that the bread and wine, in the institution of the 
Supper, are only what the water is in baptism. "It were vain," 
added he, " to plunge him who believes not, a thousand times in 
water. Faith, then, is the thing essentially required. 2 " 

Luther at first set out from principles very much akin to those 
of the teacher of Zurich. " It is not the sacrament which sancti 
fies," said he, " it is faith in the sacrament." But the extrava 
gances of the Anabaptists, whose mysticism spiritualised every 
thing, produced a great change in his views. When he saw en 
thusiasts, who pretended to a particular inspiration, breaking 
images,/ rejecting baptism, denying the presence of Christ in the 
Supper, he was alarmed : he had a kind of prophetical presentiment 
of the dangers which threatened the Church, if this ultra-spiritualist 
disposition gained the ascendancy, and he threw himself into a 
quite different path, like a pilot, who, seeing his bark leaning much 
over to one side and ready to upset, leans with all his weight on 
the other side, in order to establish the equilibrium. 

From this time Luther attached a higher importance to the 
sacraments. He maintained that they were not only signs by 
means of which Christians are externallyrecognised, as Zuinglius 
held, but testimonials of the divine will, fitted to strengthen our 

i Fidem rem esse, non scientiam, opinionem vel imaginationem. (Comment, cle 
vera relig. Zw. Op. iii, p. 230.) 2 Haud aliter hie p;tnem et vinum esse puto 

quam aqua est in baptismo. (Ad. Wittenbachium Ep. 15th June, 1523.) 


faith. More than this, Christ, according to him, had been pleased 
to impart to believers a fall assurance of their salvation ; and in 
order to seal this promise in the most effectual manner, had added 
his true body in the bread and wine. " In the same way," said 
he, " as iron and fire, which, however, are two distinct sub 
stances, are blended together in a furnace, so that in each of its 
parts there is at once iron and fire; in the same- .way, and a 
fortiori, the glorified body of Christ exists in all the parts of the 

Thus, on the part of Luther at this period, there was perhaps 
some return to scholastic theology. He had completely discon 
nected himself with it in the doctrine of justification by faith ; but 
in the sacrament he abandoned only one point, that of transub- 
stantiation, and kept the other, the corporal presence. He even 
went the length of saying, that he would rather receive only 
blood with the pope than receive only wine with Zuinglius. 

The great principle of Luther was to withdraw from the doctrine 
and customs of the Church, only when the words of Scripture ren 
dered it absolutely necessary. " Where has Christ ordered the 
host to be elevated and shown to the people?" asked Carlstadt. 
" And where has Christ forbidden it?" replied Luther. Here is 
the principle of the two Informations, Ecclesiastical traditions 
were dear to the Saxon Reformer. If he separated from them in 
several points, it was only after severe struggles, and because it 
was necessary, first of all, to obey the Word. But when the letter 
of the Word appeared in harmony with tradition and the usage 
of the Church, he clung to it with imnioveable firmness. Now, 
this is just what happened in the case of the Supper. He denied 
not that the word is might be taken in the sense pointed out by 
Zuinglius. He acknowledged, for instance, that it was necessary 
so to understand it in the words, " That rock was Christ; " x but 
he denied that it could have this meaning in the institution of the 

In one of the later schoolmen, the one whom he preferred to all 
the others, Occam, 2 he found an opinion which he embraced. 
Like Occam, he abandoned the constantly repeated miracle, in 
virtue of which, according to the Komish Church, the body and 
blood are, on each occasion, after consecration by the priest, sub 
stituted for the bread and wine ; and, like this doctor, he substi 
tuted for it an universal miracle, performed once for all, that of 
the ubiquity or omnipresence of the body of Jesus Christ. " Christ, 

1 1 Cor. x, 4. 2 Diu multumque legit scripta Occam cujus acumen antefere- 

bat Thomse et Scoto. (Melanc. Vita Luth.) Often and long he read the writings of 
Occam, whose acumen he preferred to Aauinas and Scotus. 

3 L 


said he, " is present in the bread and wine, because he is present 
every where, and especially every where he chooses." x 

The tendency of Zuinglius was quite different from that of Luther. 
He was less disposed to preserve a certain union with the universal 
Church, and maintain a connection with the tradition of past ages. 
As a theologian, he looked to the Scriptures alone, from which he 
wished to receive his faith freely, and immediately, without troubling 
himself with what others had previously thought. As a republican, 
he looked to his community of Zurich. It was the idea of the 
present Church that engrossed him, not the idea of the Church of 
other times. He dwelt particularly on these words of St. Paul, 
" Because there is but one bread, we who are many are one lody" 
And he saw in the Supper the sign of a spiritual communion be 
tween Christ and all Christians. " Whoever," he said, " conducts 
himself unworthily, becomes guilty towards the body of Christ, of 
which he forms part." This idea had a great practical influence ; 
and the effects which it produced on the lives of many persons, 
confirmed Zuinglius in it. 

Thus Luther and Zuinglius had insensibly withdrawn from each 
other. Perhaps, however, peace would have longer subsisted 
between them, had not the turbulent Carlstadt, who was coming 
and going between Germany and Switzerland, set fire to these 
opposite opinions. 

A proceeding, taken to maintain peace, had the effect of kindling 
war. The council of Zurich, wishing to prevent all controversy, 
prohibited the sale of Carlstadt s writings. Zuinglius, who dis 
approved of the violence of Carlstadt, and blamed his mystical and 
obscure expressions, 2 then thought himself bound to defend his 
doctrine, whether in the pulpit or before the council, and soon after 
wrote pastor Albert of Keutlingen a letter, in which he said, 
" Whether or not Christ speaks of the Sacrament in the sixth chap 
ter of John, it is very clear that he speaks of a mode of eating his 
flesh and drinking his blood, in which there is nothing corporeal." 
He then endeavoured to prove that the Supper, by reminding be 
lievers, according to Christ s intention, of his body broken for them, 
procured for them that spiritual eating, which alone is truly salu 

Still Zuinglius was as yet very averse to a rapture with Lnthef. 
He trembled to think that new dissensions should rend this new 

1 Occam und Luther. Studien und Kritiken, 183!), p. 69. 2 Quod morosior 

cst (Carlstadius) in cseremoniis non ferendis, non admodum probo. (Z\v. Ep. p. 369.) 

3 A manducatione cibi, qui ventrem implet, transit t ad verbi manducationem, quam 
cibum vorat coelestem, qui mundum vivificet. (Z\v. Op. iii, p 573. v From the eating 
of food, which nourishes the body, he passed to the eating of what he calls heavenlj 
food, which shall tjive life to the world. 


society which was then forming in the midst of decayed Christen 
dom. Luther did not feel in the same way. He hesitated not to 
class Zuinglhis with the enthusiasts, with whom he had already 
broken so many lances. He did not reflect that if images had 
been removed at Zurich, it was legally and by public authority. 
Accustomed to the forms of the Germanic States, he had little 
acquaintance with the procedure of Swiss republics; and he in 
veighed against the grave Helvetic theologians, as against the 
Munzers and Carlstadts. 

Luther having published his treatise against " the heavenly pro 
phets" Zuinglius no longer hesitated, and published almost at the 
same time his Letter to Albert, and his Commentary on True and 
False Relic/ ion, dedicated to Francis I. He here said, "Since 
Christ, in the sixth chapter of John, attributes to faith the power 
of imparting eternal life, and uniting the believer with himself in 
the most intimate manner, Avhat need have we of any thing else ? 
Why should he afterwards have attributed this virtue to his flesh, 
while he himself declares that his flesh profiteth nothing ? The 
flesh of Christ, in so far as it was put to death for us, is of im 
mense benefit to us : for it saves us from perdition ; but in so far 
as eaten by us does us no good." 

The struggle commenced. Pomeranus, Luther s friend, rushed 
to battle, and attacked the evangelist of Zurich somewhat too dis 
dainfully. (Ecolampadius then began to blush at having so long 
combated his doubts, and preached doctrines which already wavered 
in his mind. He took courage, and wrote from Basle to Zuinglius. 
The dogma of the real presence is the fortress and strong tower of 
their impiety. So long as they keep this idol, it will be impossible 
to vanquish them. He then also entered the lists, by publishing 
a tract on the meaning of our Saviour s words, " This is my 
bodij." 1 

The mere fact of (Ecolampadius joining the Eeformer produced 
an immense sensation, not only at Basle, but throughout Germany. 
Luther was deeply moved at it. Brcntz, Schnepff and twelve other 
pastors of Suabia, to whom (Ecolampadius had dedicated his book, 
and who had almost all been his pupils, felt the greatest pain. 
" At the very moment of separating from him for a just cause," 
said Brentz, in taking up the pen to answer him, " I honour and 
admire him as much as it is possible to do. The bond of love is 
not broken between us, because we are not agreed." Then he 
published, with his friends, the famous Syngram of Suabia, in which 
he replied to (Ecolampadius firmly, but charitably and respectfully. 

1 He took the word is in its ordinary acceptation ; but by body ho understood a 
symbol of the body. 


* If an emperor," said tlie authors of the Syngram, " give a baton 
to a judge, saying to him, * Take! this is the power of judging, the 
baton, doubtless, is only a simple symbol, but these words being 
added, the judge has not only the symbol of power he has power 
itself." The true Reformed Churches may admit this comparison. 
The Syngram was received with acclamation ; its authors were re 
garded as the champions of the truth ; several theologians, and 
even laymen, wishing to share in their glory, began to defend the 
doctrine which was attacked, and made a rush at (Ecolampadius. 
Strasburg then came forward as a mediator between Switzerland 
and Germany. Capito and Bucer were friends of peace, and the 
question in debate was, according to them, of secondary impor 
tance ; they therefore placed themselves between the two parties, 
sent George Cassel, onfc of their colleagues, to Luther, and besought 
him not to break the bond of brotherhood which united him to the 
teachers of Switzerland. 

No where was Luther s character more strikingly manifested 
than in this controversy on the Supper. Never did he so fully 
manifest the firmness with which he kept to what he believed to 
be a Christian conviction, his fidelity in seeking a foundation for it 
only in Scripture, the sagacity of his defence, and his animated,elo- 
quent, often over-powering argumentation. But never, also, did 
he more strikingly manifest the obstinacy with which he adhered 
to his own views, the little attention which he paid to the reasons of 
his adversaries, and the uncharitable readiness which led him to 
attribute their errors to the wickedness of their hearts and the wiles 
of the devil. " One or other," said he to the mediator of Stras 
burg; " the Swiss or we must be the ministers of Satan. ..." 

This was what Capito called "the madness of the Saxon Orestes," 
and the madness was followed by exhaustion. Luther s health 
was affected ; one day he fainted away in the arms of his wife and 
his friends, and he was for a whole week, as it were, " in death and 
hell." ! " He had," he said, " lost Jesus Christ, and was tossed 

to and fro by the tempest of despair The world was 

mouldering away, and announcing by prodigies that the last day 
was at hand." 

But the divisions of the friends of the Reformation were to have 
still more fatal consequences. The Roman theologians triumphed, 
especially in Switzerland, in being able to oppose Luther to Zuing- 
lius. Still, after three centuries, the remembrance of these divi 
sions furnish evangelical Christians with the precious fruit of 
unity in diversity. Even then the Reformers, by setting them 
selves in opposition to each other, showed that the feeling which 

1 In morte et in inferno jactatus. (L. Ep. iii, p. 132.) 


animated them was not a blind hatred of Rome, and that truth was 
the first aim of their researches. Herein it must be acknowledged 
there is something noble. A conduct thus disinterested failed not 
to bear some fruit, and to force, even from enemies, a feeling of 
interest and esteem. 

Nor is this all. We may here perceive that the Sovereign hand 
which disposes of all events, permits nothing without the wisest 
design. Luther, nowithstanding of his opposition to the papacy, 
was, in an eminent degree, conservative. Zuinglius, on the con 
trary, was inclined to a radical reformation. These two opposite 
tendencies were necessary. If only Luther and his adherents had 
appeared in the days of the Reformation, the work would have 
been too soon arrested, and the reforming principle would not have 
fulfilled its task. If, on the contrary, Zuinglius only had appeared, 
the thread would have been too suddenly snapped, and the Re 
formation would have been isolated from the ages which pre 
ceded it. 

These two tendencies, which, on a superficial glance, may seem 
to have existed merely that they might oppose each other, had, on 
the contrary, a task to accomplish, and we are able to say, after 
a lapse of three centuries, that they fulfilled their mission. 


The Tockenburg An Assembly of the People Reformation The Grisons Dis 
cussion of Ilantz Results Reform at Zurich. 

Thus the Reformation had struggles to maintain in every quar 
ter. After combating with the rationalist philosophy of Erasmus, and 
the fanatical enthusiasm of the Anabaptists, it had still a struggle 
with itself. But its great struggle ever was with the papacy, and 
the attack which it had began in the cities of the plain, it now con 
tinued on the remotest mountains. 

On the heights of the Tockenburg, the sound of the gospel had 
been heard, and three ecclesiastics were prosecuted by order of the 
bishop on a charge of heresy. " Let them convince us, with the 
Word of God in their hand." said Miiitus, Boring, and Farer, " and 
we will submit, not only to the chapter, but to the least of the 
brethren in Jesus Christ ; if not, we will not obey any one, not even 
the man highest in power." 1 

This was indeed the spirit of Zuinglius and the Reformation. 

1 Ne potentisslmo quidem, sed soli Deo ejusque verbo. (Z\v. Ep. p. 370.) Not to the 
most powerful even, but to God alone, and his Word. 


Shortly after, a circumstance occurred which inflamed the minds of 
those living in these high vallies. An assembly of the people had 
been held on St. Catherine s day. The citizens were met, and two 
men of Schwitz, who had come to the Tockenburg on business, were 
at one of the tables: conversation went on; " Ulric Zuinglius," 
exclaimed one of them, " is a heretic and a robber!" Steiger, 
secretary of state, undertook the Reformer s defence; the noise 
drew the attention of the whole assembly. George Bruggman, the 
uncle of Zuinglius, who was sitting at another table, darted from 
his seat in a rage, exclaiming, " Certainly it is of Master Zuinglius 
they are speaking." All the guests rose and followed him, fearing 
a scuffle. 1 The tumult increasing, the bailie hastily assembled the 
council in the open street, and Bruggman was entreated for peace 
sake to content himsejf with saying to these men, " If you do not 
retract, you yourselves are the parties guilty of falsehood and rob 
bery." " Remember what you have just said, replied the men of 
Schwitz, " we too will remember it." They then mounted their 
horses, and galloped off by the road to Schwitz. 2 

The government of Schwitz sent a threatening letter to the in 
habitants of the Tockenburg. All were in alarm. " Be strong 
and fearless," 3 wrote Zuinglius to the council of his native district. 
" Dont let the lies which are retailed against me give you any un 
easiness. There is not a clamourerbut who can call me heretic, but do 
you abstain from insult, disorder, debauchery, and mercenary wars ; 
assist the poor, protect the oppressed, and whatever be the insults 
poured upon you, put unshaken confidence in Almighty God." * 

The exhortations of Zuinglius were successful. The council still 
hesitated, but the people assembled in their parishes, and came to 
an unanimous resolution, that the mass should be abolished, and 
that they would be faithful to the Word of God. 5 

The conquests were not less important in Rhetia, which Salan- 
dronius had been compelled to quit, but where Comander boldly 
preached the gospel. The Anabaptists, it is true, preaching their 
fanatical doctrines in the Grisons, had at first greatly injured the 
Reformation. The people had been divided into three parties. 
Some had thrown themselves into the arms of these new prophets; 
others, looking on in silent astonishment, were disquieted by the 
schism. In fine, the partisans of Rome shouted triumph. 6 

1 Totumque convivium sequi, grandem conflictum timentes. (Z\v. Ep. p. 371.) 

2 Auf solches, ritten sie wieder heim. (Ibid., p. 374.) Macti animo este etin- 
territi. (Ibid., p. 351.) 4 Verbis diris abstinete . . . opem ferte egenis . . . spem 
certissimarn in Deo reponatis onmipotente. (Ibid.) One of the dates of the letters, 
14th and 23rd, 1524. must be erroneous, or a letter of Zuinglius to his fellow-moun 
taineers of the Tockenburg must be lost 6 Parochiae uno consensu statuerunt 
m verbo Dei manere. (Ibid., p. 423.) 6 Pars tertia papistarum est in immensum 
gloriantium rie schismate inter nos facto. (Ibid., p. 400.) The third part consists of 
papists glorying immensely in our schism. 


An assembly was held at Ilantz, in the country of the Grisons, 
for a discussion: the supporters of the papacy, on the one hand, 
and the friends of the [Reformation on the other, drew together 
their forces. The vicar of the bishop endeavoured at first to evade 
the combat. " These discussions occasioning great expense," said 
he, "I am ready, in order to cover it, to deposit ten thousand 
florins ; but I demand that an equal sum be deposited by the 
other party." " If the bishop has ten thousand florins at his dis 
posal," exclaimed the burly voice of a peasant from amid the crowd, 
44 it is from us he has extorted them ; to give as much more to 
these poor priests would truly be too much." "We are poor people 
with empty purses," said Comander, pastor of Coire ; "scarcely 
have we the means of buying soup : where should we find ten thou 
sand florins? " L Every one laughed at this expedient, and nothing 
more was said of it. 

Among those present were Sebastian Hofmeister and James Am 
man of Zurich, holding in their hands the Holy Scriptures in He 
brew and Greek. The vicar of the bishop demanded that strangers 
should be excluded. Hofmeister saw that this was aimed at him, 
and said, "We have come provided with a Greek and Hebrew 
Bible, in order that no violence may be done in any manner of 
way to the Scriptures. However, sooner than prevent the confer- 
once, we are ready to withdraw." " Ah," exclaimed the curate of 
Dintzen, looking at the books of the two Zurichers, " if the Greek 
tongue and the Hebrew tongue had never entered our country, 
there would be fewer heresies." 2 " St. Jerome," said another, 
"translated the Bible for us ; we have no need of Jewish books." 
"If the Zurichers are excluded," said the banneret of Ilantz, "the 
community will interfere." " Well then," it was answered, " let 
them listen, but say nothing!" The Zurichers accordingly re 
mained, and their Bible with them. 

Then Comander standing up, read the first of the theses which 
he had published. It was " The Christian Church springs from 
the Word of God. It must abide by this Word, and listen only to 
its voice." He proceeded to prove his proposition by numerous 
passages of Scripture. " He walked with a sure step," said an 
eye-witness, 3 " and set down his foot with the tramp of an ox." 
" We have too much of this," said the vicar. " When among his 
boon companions listening to the flute," said Hofmeister, "he does 
not find it too much." 4 

1 Sie wa ren gute nrme Gesellen mit lehren Secklen. (Fiissl. Beytr. i, p. 358.) 

2 Ware die Griechische und Hebraische Sprache nicht in das Land gekommen. 
(Ibid., p. 360.) 3 Satzte den Fuss wie ein milder Ochs. (Ibid., p. 362.) * Den 
Fieiffern zuzuhbren, die ... \vie den Fiirsten hofierten. (Ibid.) 


A man rose from the middle of the assembly and came forward, 
waving his arms, twinkling with his eyes, and knitting his brows, 1 
and apparently out of his senses: he sprang towards Comander, and 
several thought he was going to strike him. It was a schoolmaster 
of Coire. " I have put down several questions for you in writing," 
said he to Comander, " answer them instantly." " I am here," 
said the Grison Reformer, to defend my doctrine ; attack it, and I 
will defend it : if not, return to your place. I will answer you when 
I have done." The schoolmaster stood for a moment in suspense. 
"Very good," he at length said, and resumed his seat. 

It was proposed to pass to the doctrine of the sacraments. The 
Abbot of St. Luke declared it was not without fear he approached 
such a subject, while the frightened vicar made the sign of the 

The schoolmaster, who had already desired to attack Comander, 
began with much volubility to maintain the doctrine of the sacra 
ments, founding on the words, " This is my body." " Dear Berre," 
said Comander to him, "how do you understand the words, 
John is Elias ?" "I understand," replied Berre, who saw Com- 
ander s drift, " that he was truly and essentially Elias." " And 
why then," continued Comander, " did John Baptist himself say 
that he was not Elias ?" The schoolmaster was silent, and at 
length said, " It is true." There was a general burst of laughter, 
even from those who had employed him to speak. 

The Abbot of St. Luke delivered a long harangue on the Sup 
per, and the conference was closed. Seven priests embraced the 
evangelical doctrine ; full religious freedom was proclaimed, and 
the Eomish ritual was abolished in several churches. " Christ," 
to use the words of Salandronius, " every where sprang up in these 
mountains like the tender grass in spring, and the pastors were 
like living springs which watered these high vallies. 2 

The Reformation made still more rapid strides at Zurich. The 
Dominicans, Augustins, and Capuchins were compelled to live to 
gether the hell anticipated for these poor monks. Instead of these 
corrupt institutions, schools, an hospital, and a theological seminary, 
were founded. Knowledge and charity every where took the place 
of idleness and selfishness. 

1 Blintzete mit den Augen, rumpfete die Stirne. (Fiissl, Beytr. i, p. 368.) 
a Vita, moribus et doctrina herbescenti Christo apud Rhcetos fons irrigans (Zw 
Ep. p. 485,) 




Executions Discussion at Baden Rules of the Discussion Riches and Poverty 
Eck and (Ecolampadius Discussion Part taken by Zuinglius Boasting of the 
Romans Insults of a Monk End of the Discussion. 

These victories of the Keformatiou could not be overlooked. 
Monks, priests, and prelates, transported with rage, felt that the 
ground was every where moving from under their feet, and that 
the Church was ready to give way before unparalleled dangers. 
The oligarchs of the cantons the men of pensions and foreign en 
listments, became aware that they could no longer delay, if they 
wished to save their privileges; and at the moment when the 
Church was in fear and beginning to sink, they offered her their 
arm of steel. A Stein and a John Hug of Lucerne united with a 
John Faber, and the civil authority rushed to the assistance of 
that hierarchical power which utters high sounding words of pride, 
and makes war on the saints. 1 

Public opinion had long been demanding a discussion. There 
was no other means of calming the people. 2 The Councils of Zu 
rich had said to the Diet " Convince us from Scripture, and we 
will yield to your invitations." It was every where repeated, 
" The Zurichers have given you a promise: if you can convince 
them by the Bible, why don t you do it ? and if you cannot, why 
don t you conform to the Bible?" 

The conferences held at Zurich had exercised an immense in 
fluence : it was necessary to oppose them with a conference held 
in a Romish town, taking all necessary precautions to secure the 
victory to the papal party. 

It is true these discussions had been declared unlawful ; but 
means were found to escape from this difficulty. "The only thing 
to be done, "it was said, "is to arrest and condemn the pernicious 
doctrines of Zuinglius." 3 This being agreed, a stout champion 
was wanted, and Dr. Eck presented himself. He had no fear. His 
expression, according to Hofmeister, was, " Zuinglius has doubt 
less milked more cows than he has read books." 4 

The great Council of Zurich sent Dr. Eck a safe conduct to come 
to Zurich itself; but Eck replied that he would await the answer 
of the confederation. Zuinglius then offered to debate at St. Gall 
or Schaff hausen ; but the Council, founding on an article of the 

1 Rev. xiii. 2 Das der gmeir man, one erne offne disputation, nitt zii stillen 

was. (Hulling. Chr. i, p. 331.) 3 Diet of Lucerne, 13th of March, 1526. * Er 

liabe \vohl mehr Kiihe gemolken als BUcher gelesen. (Zw. Op. ii, p. 405.) 


federal compact, which bore, " that every person accused shall 
be tried in the place where he resides," ordered Zuinglius to with 
draw his offer. 

The Diet at length decreed that a conference should take place 
at Baden, and fixed it for the 16th May, 1526. This conference 
was to be important, for it was the result and seal of the alliance 
which had been made between the ecclesiastical power and the oli 
garchs of the confederation. " See," said Zuinglius to Vadian, 
" what the oligarchs and Faber dare at this hour to under 
take." 1 

Accordingly, the decision of the Diet produced a great impres 
sion in Switzerland. It was not doubted that a conference, held 
under such auspices, would prove unfavourable to the Reforma 
tion. It Avas said at Zurich, "Do not the five cantons most de 
voted to the pope rule in Baden ? Have they not already declared 
the doctrine of Zuinglius heretical, and employed sword and fire 
against it ? Has not Zuinglius been burned in effigy at Lucerne, 
after being subject to all kinds of insult? Have not his writings 
been given to the flames at Friburg? Is not his death every where 
longed for? Have not the cantons which exercise sovereign 
rights in Baden declared that, should Zuinglius set foot on any 
part whatever of their territory, they would apprehend him ? 2 Has 
not Uberlingen, one of their leaders, said, that his only wish in this 
world was to hang Zuinglius, were he himself to be the executionei 
on the last day of his life ? 3 And has not Dr. Eck been crying 
for years that heretics must be attacked with fire and sword? What 
then will be this discussion, and what the issue of it, but just the 
death of the Reformer ! 

Such were the fears which agitated the committee appointed at 
Zurich to examine this affair. Zuinglius, who was a witness of 
then- agitation, rose and said, "You know what was the fate of the 
valiant men of Stammheim at Baden, and how the blood of the 
Wirths dyed the scaffold . . . and we are invited to the very place 
of their execution. . . . Let the place of conference be Zurich, 
Berne, St. GaU, or even Basle, Constance, Schaffhausen ; let it be 
agreed to discuss fundamental points only, employing only the 
Word of God. Let no judge be set over it; in that case, I am 
ready to appear." 4 

Meanwhile fanaticism bestirred herself, and made victims. A 
consistory, headed by this same Faber who challenged Zuinglius, 
on 10th May, 1526, (about eight days before the discussion of 

i Vide nunc quid audeant oligarch! atque Faber. (Zw. Ep. p. 484.) a Zwingli 

in ihrem Gebiet, wo er betreten werde, gefaugen zu nehmen. (Ibid., p. 422.) 3 Da 
wollte er gern all sein Lebtag ein Henker genannt warden. (Ibid., p. 454.) * Wel- 
leiid wir ganz geneigt yn ze erschynen. (Ibid., p. 423.) 


Baden,) condemned to the flames as a heretic an evangelical minister 
named John Hiigle, pastor of Lindau, 1 who walked to execution 
singing the Te Deum. At the same time Peter Spengler, another 
minister, was drowned at Friburg by order of the Bishop of Con 

From all quarters sinister rumours reached Zuinglius. His 
brother-in-law, Leonard Tremp, wrote him from Berne, "I beseech 
you, as you value your life, don t come to Baden. I know that the 
safe-conduct will be violated." 2 

It was confidently stated that a plan had been formed to carry 
him off, gag him, put him into a boat, and carry him to some un 
known place. 8 In the view of these menaces and scaffolds, the 
council of Zurich decreed that Zuinglius should not go to Baden. 4 

The discussion being fixed for the 19th May, the combatants, 
the representatives of the cantons, and the bishops, began gradu 
ally to arrive. On the part of the Roman Catholics appeared, first 
of all, the warlike and vain-glorious Dr. Eck : on the part of the 
Protestants, the modest and gentle (Ecolampadius. The latter was 
well aware of the perils of this discussion. As an old biographer 
expresses it, like a timid stag pursued by raging dogs, he had 
long hesitated. At last he determined to repair to Baden. Previ 
ously, however, he put forward the solemn protestation, "I acknow 
ledge no rule of judgment but the Word of God." At first he had 
earnestly desired that Zuinglius should share his dangers ; 5 but he 
soon doubted not that if the intrepid teacher had appeared in this 
fanatical town, the rage of the Roman Catholics firing at his 
presence would have put them both to death. 

The first thing done was to determine the laws of the combat. 
Dr. Eck proposed that the deputies of the Wallenstein should be 
appointed to pronounce a definitive judgment. This was just to 
anticipate the condemnation of the Reformation. Thomas Plater, 
who had come from Zurich to Baden to be present at the confer 
ence, was despatched by (Ecolampadius to Zuinglius to obtain his 
opinion. Having arrived at night, he found some difficulty in 
gaining admission into the Reformer s house. "Unfortunate dis 
turber," said Zuinglius to him, rubbing his eyes. "For six weeks 
now, (thanks to this discussion,) I have not been in bed. 6 .... 
What is your message?" Plater explained the proposals of Dr. 
Eck. "And who," replied Zuinglius, " would put these peasants 

1 Htinc hominem hsereticum damnamus, projicimus et conculcamus. (Hotting. 
Ilelv. K. Gesch, iii, p. 300.) This heretic we condemn, cast forth, and trample under 
our feet. 2 Caveatis per caput vestrum. (Zw. Ep. p. 483.) 3 Navigio 

captum, ore mox obturato, clam fuisse deportandum. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.) 

* Zwinglium Senatus Tigurinus Badenam demittere vccnsavit. rlhid.) Si 

periciltaberis, periclitabhnur omnes tecum. (Zw. Ep. p. 311 .) If you are in dnn^r, we 
will all be endangered with you. Ich bin in 6 WocLeu nie in das Beth Konu 

men. (Plater s Leben, p. 263.) 



into a condition to comprehend such things ? Verily the milking 
of cows would be more intelligible to them." 1 

On 21st May, the conference commenced. Eck and Faber, 
accompanied by prelates, magistrates, and doctors, clothed in 
vestments of damask and silk, and decked with rings, chains, and 
crosses, repaired to the church. 2 Eck strutted proudly into a mag 
nificently ornamented pulpit, while the humble (Eeolampadius, in 
mean clothing, had to face his haughty opponent on a platform of 
rude construction. " The whole time the conference lasted," says 
the chronicler Bullinger, " Eck and his people were lodged at the 
curacy of Baden, making good cheer, leading a gay and scandalous 
life, and drinking much wine with which the abbot of Wettin- 
gen supplied them. 3 Eck," it was said, "bathes at Baden in 
wine." The evangelicals, on the contrary, made a poor appearance, 
and were laughed at as a band of mendicants. Their mode of life 
contrasted strikingly with that of the champions of the papacy. The 
host of the inn of the Pike, where (Eeolampadius lodged, being 
desirous to see what he was doing in his room, stated, that, when 
ever he looked in, he saw him reading or praying. It must be 
confessed," said he, " that he is a very pious heretic." 

The discussion lasted eighteen days, and, during the whole period, 
the clergy of Baden daily made a solemn procession, chanting litanies 
in order to obtain the victory. Eck was sole speaker in defence of 
the Romish doctrine. It was still the champion of the Leipsic dis 
cussion, with his German accent, his broad shoulders, and powerful 
lungs, an excellent public crier, with more in his exterior of the 
butcher than of the divine. He debated, according to his wont, 
with great violence, trying to wound his opponents by cutting 
expressions, and sometimes even mincing an oath. 4 But the pre 
sident never called him to order. 

Eck thumps the desk with feet and hands, 
And roars, and raves, and scolds, and bans. 
" What pope and cardinals propound 
I hold as creed, ay creed most sound." 6 

(Eeolampadius, on the contrary, with a serene, noble, and patri 
archal air, spoke so meekly, and, at the same time, with so much 
ability and courage, that even his adversaries, moved and trans 
ported, said, one to another, " Oh, if the tall yellow man were on 
our side." 6 His equanimity, however, was occasionally disturbed on 

!Sie verstunden sich bas auf Kuh malken. (Plater s Leben, p. 263.) 2 Mit 

Syden, Damast und Sammet bekleydet. (Bull. Chr., i, p. 351.) 3 Verbruchten 

vil wyn. (Ibid.) 4 So entwuscht imm ettwan ein Schwiir. (Ibid.) 

5 Egg zablet mit fussen und henden 
Fing an schelken und schenden, etc. 

(Contemporaneous Poetry of Nicolas Manuel of Berne.) 
^ e were dor lange gal man uff uuser sy ten. (Bull. Chr., i, p. 353.) 


seeing the enmity and violence of the hearers. " Oh!" said he, 
" with what impatience they listen to me; but God is not wanting 
to his own glory, and this is all that we seek." 1 

(Ecolampadius, having attacked the first thesis of Dr. Eck, 
which turned on the real presence, Haller, who had arrived at Baden 
after the commencement of the discussion, entered the lists against 
the second. Little accustomed to such conferences, of a timid dis 
position, trammelled by the orders of his government, and embar 
rassed by the looks of his avoyer, G-aspard Mullinen, Haller had not 
the proud confidence of his antagonist, but he had more real force. 
After Haller had finished, (Ecolampadius again entered the lists, 
and pressed Dr. Eck so closely, that he was reduced to the neces 
sity of only appealing to the usage of the Church. 4 Usage," replied 
(Ecolampadius, "has only weight in our Switzerland according to 
the constitution; now, in matters of faith, the constitution is the 

The third thesis, on the invocation of saints, the fourth, on 
images, and the fifth, on purgatory, were successively discussed. 
Nobody rose to dispute the truth of the two last theses, which 
turned upon original sin and baptism. 

Zuinglius took an active part in the whole discussion. The 
Catholic party, who had four secretaries, had forbidden any other 
person, under pain of death, from taking any thing down in writing. 2 
But a student of the Valais, named Jerome Walsch, who possessed a 
very retentive memory, fixed what he had heard in his mind, and, 
hastening home, wrote it down. Thomas Plater, and Zimmerman 
of Winterthur, daily carried these notes and letters from (Ecolam 
padius to Zuinglius, and brought back the Reformer s answers. 
All the gates of Baden were guarded by soldiers, armed with hal- 
berts, and the two messengers were obliged, by divers excuses, 
to elude the interrogatories of the soldiers, who did not understand 
why these youths were continually returning to the town. 3 Thus 
Zuinglius, though absent from Baden in body was present in mind. 

He counselled and encouraged his friends, and refuted his 
enemies. "Zuinglius," says Oswald Myconius, "laboured more 
by his meditations, his vigils, and his counsels sent to Baden, than 
he could have done by debating personally in the midst of his 
enemies. 4 " 

During the whole conference the Roman Catholics kept up an 

1 Domino suam gloriam, quam salvam cupimus ne utiquam deserturo. (Zw. Ep. 
P- 511. a Man sollte einem ohne allcr welter Urtheilen, deu Kopf abhauen. 

(Thorn. Plateri. Lebens Beschreib., p. 262. 3 When I was asked, what do you 

come here for ? I bring chickens to sell to the gentry who come to the baths ; for 
chickens were given me at Zurich, and the guards could not understand how I could 
always get new ones so quickly. (Autobiography of Plater.) 4 Quam laborasset 

iisputando vel inter medios hostes. (Osw. Myc. Vit. Zw.) See the various writings of 
Zuinglius relating to the discussion at Baden. (Op. ii, pp. 398520.) 


agitation, sent letters in all directions, and shouted victory 
" OEcolampadius," exclaimed they, " conquered by Dr. Eck, and 
stretched out on the arena, has sung a palinode. 1 The reign of 
the pope is about to be every where re-established. 2 " These shouts 
were heard over all the cantons, and the people, ready to believe 
whatever they hear, credited all these boastings of the partisans of 

The discussion being ended, the monk Murner, of Lucerne, who 
was surnamed, " the torn cat," came forward and read forty accu 
sations directed against Zuinglius. " I thought," said he, u that 
the coward would come and answer : he has not appeared. Very 
well, by all the laws which govern things human and divine, I 
declare forty times that the tyrant of Zurich, and all his partisans, 
are disloyal subjects, liars, perjurers, adulterers, infidels, robbers, 
blasphemers, true gallows birds, and that every honest man must 
blush at being in any way connected with them." Such were the 
insulting terms which, at this early period, doctors, whom the 
Roman Catholic Church herself ought to have disclaimed, decorated 
with the name of "Christian polemics." 

There was great agitation in Baden: the general feeling being 
that the Roman champions had made the loudest noise, but used 
the weakest arguments. 3 (Ecolampadins and ten of his friends 
were all who signed the rejection of Eck s theses, whereas, eighty- 
four persons, among whom were the presidents of the discussion and 
all the monks of Witteniberg, adhered to them. Halier had left 
Baden before the end of the conference. 

The majority of the Diet then decided that Zuinglius, the head 
of this pernicious doctrine, having refused to appear, and the min 
isters who had come to Baden having refused to be convinced, they 
were all cast out of the universal Church. 4 


Consequences at Basle, Berne, St. Gall, and other places -Diet at Zurich The Small 
Cantons Menaces at Berne Foreign Aid. 

But this famous conference, due to the zeal of the oligarchs and 
clergy, was to prove fatal to both. Those who had then con- 

1 (Ecolampadius victus jacet in arena prostratus ab Eccio, herbam porrexit, (Zw. 
Ep. p. 514.) 2 Spem concipiunt Isetam fore ut regnum ipsorum restituatur. 

(Ibid., p. 513.) 3 Die Evangelische weren wol uberschryen, nicht aber uberdispu- 

tiert worden. (Hotting. Ilelv. K. Gesch. iii, p. 320.) " * Von gemeiner Kyle-hen 

jissgestossen. (Rul!. Clir. p. 355.) 


tended for the gospel, on returning to their firesides, were to fill 
their fellow-citizens with enthusiasm for the cause which they had 
defended ; and two of the most important cantons of the Helvetic 
alliance were thenceforth to begin to break off all connection with 
the papacy. 

It was on OEcolampadius, a stranger to Switzerland, that the 
first blows were to fall, and he returned to Basle not without some 
misgivings. But his disquietude was soon dissipated. His mild 
sentences had struck impartial witnesses more than the clamour of 
Dr. Eck, and he was received with acclamation by all pious men. 
The adversary, it is true, used every effort to exclude him from the 
pulpit, but in vain; he taught and preached more forcibly than be 
fore, and never had the people shown such thirst for the Word. 1 

Similar results followed at Berne. The conference of Baden, 
which was to have stifled the Keformation, gave it a new impulse 
in this canton, the most powerful in the whole Swiss confederation. 
No sooner did Haller arrive in the capital, than the little council 
summoned him to appear, and ordered him to celebrate mass. Hal 
ler demanded to be heard before the great council ; and the people 
feeling bound to defend their pastor, flocked in crowds. Haller, 
alarmed, declared that he would sooner leave the town than be the 
cause of any disturbance. Tranquility being restored, the Reformer 
said, "If I am required to celebrate this ceremony, I resign my 
charge : the honour of God and the truth of his holy Word are 
dearer to my heart than any anxiety as to what I shall eat, or 
wherewithallshallbe clothed." Haller spoke these words with deep 
emotion ; the members of the Council were affected ; even some of 
his opponents shed tears. 2 Moderation proved still stronger than 
force. To give Kome some satisfaction, Haller was deprived of 
his office as canon, but was appointed preacher. His most violent 
enemies, Louis and Anthony Diesbach and Anthony Erlach, indig 
nant at this resolution, immediately left the Council and the town, 
and renounced their right of citizenship. " Berne has had a fall," 
said Haller, " but it has risen with more power than ever." This 
firmness of the Bernese produced a great impression in Switzerland. 3 

But the consequences of the conference of Baden were not con 
fined to Berne and Basle. While these things were taking place 
there, a movement, more or less similar, was taking place in seve 
ral of the States of the confederation. The preachers of St. Gall, 
on their return from Baden, preached the gospel: 4 at the end of a 
conference, the images were removed from the parochial church ol 

1 Plebe Verbi Domini admodum sitiente. (Zw. Ep. p. 518.) 2 Tillier, Gesch 

v. Bern., 5ii, p. 242.) 3 Profuit hie nobis Bernates tam dextre in servando Berch- 

toldo suo egisse. ((Ecol. ad Zw. Ep. p. 518.) It was of great advantage to us that the 
Bernese acted so dexterously in keeping their BertholdL * San Gallenses officiis 

suis restitutes. (Zw. Ep, p. 518.) 


St. Lawrence, and the inhabitants sold their most valuable articles 
of dress, their jewels, their rings, their gold chains, to found houses 
of charity. The Reformation spoiled, but it was to clothe the poor, 
and the spoils were those of the Reformers themselves. 1 

At Mulhausen, the gospel was preached with new courage. 
Thurgovia and the Rheinthal always approximated more and more 
to Zurich. Immediately after the discussion, Zurzach carried off 
the images of its churches, and the district of Baden almost every 
where received the gospel. 

Nothing can be better fitted than such facts to prove to which 
party the victory truly belonged. Accordingly Zuinglius, on look 
ing around him, gave glory to God. " We are attacked in many 
ways," said he, "but the Lord is stronger not only than menaces, 
but also than wars themselves. In the town and canton of Zu 
rich there is an admirable agreement in favour of the gospel. We 
will surmount all difficulties by prayers offered up in faith." 2 
Shortly after addressing Haller, Zuinglius said to him, " Every 
thing here below follows its destiny. To the boisterous blast of 
the north succeeds a gentler breeze. After the broiling days of 
summer, autumn pours its treasures into our lap. And now, after 
severe combats, the Creator of all things, in whose service we are, 
opens the way for us into the heart of the enemy s camp. We are 
still able to receive Christian doctrine, that dove so long driven 
off, but which never ceased waiting to spy the hour of its return. 
Be thou the Noah to receive and save it " 

This same year Zurich had made an important acquisition. 
Conrad Pellican, guardian of the Franciscan convent at Basle, and 
professor of theology at twenty-four, had been invited, by the ex 
ertions of Zuinglius, to be professor of Hebrew at Zurich. "It is 
long," said he on arriving, " since I have renounced the pope, and 
desire only to live for Jesus Christ." 3 Pellican, by his energeti 
cal talents, became one of the most useful labourers in the work of 
the Reformation. 

Zurich continuing to be excluded from the Diet by the Romish 
cantons, and wishing to take advantage of the better dispositions 
manifested by some of the confederates, in the beginning of 1527, 
summoned a Diet, to be held at Zurich itself. The deputies of Berne, 
Basle, Schaffhausen, Appenzell, and St. Gall, repaired to it. " We 
wish," said the deputies of Zurich, " that the Word of God which 
alone leads us to Christ crucified, should alone be preached, alone 
taught, alone magnified. We abandon all human doctrines, what 
ever may have been the ancient customs of our forefathers, certain 

1 Kostbare Kleider, Kleinodien, Ring, Ketten, etc. freywillig verkauft. (Hott iii, 
p. 338.) 2 Fideli enim oratione omnia superabimus. (Zw. Ep. p. 519.) 

3 Jamdudum nanse renuntiavi et Christo vivere concupivi. (Ibid.,, p. 455.1 



that if they had had the light of the Divine word which we enjoy, 
they would have embraced it with more respect than we, their 
feeble descendants, do." 1 The deputies present promised to take 
the representations of Zurich into consideration. 

Thus the breach which had been made in Rome became larger 
every day. The discussion of Baden was to have repaired all her 
losses, and thereafter, on the contrary, cantons which had been 
undecided were disposed to go hand in hand with Zurich. The 
inhabitants of the plain already inclined to the Reformation : and 
now she drew closer to the mountains, and invaded them, while 
the primitive cantons, which were in a manner the cradle, and are 
still in a manner the citadel of Switzerland, hemmed in by their 
high Alps, seemed alone firmly to maintain the doctrine of their 
fathers. These mountaineers, continually exposed to violent 
tempests, to avalanches, to the overflow of torrents and rivers, 
have to struggle all their lives against these formidable enemies, 
and to sacrifice every thing to preserve the meadow that pastures 
their flocks, and the hut which shelters them from the storm, but 
which the first inundation sweeps away. Accordingly, a conser 
vative instinct is strongly developed in them, and has for ages been 
transmitted from generation to generation. To preserve what they 
have received from their fathers, is the only wisdom recognised in 
these mountains. These rude Helvetians accordingly struggled 
against the Reformation, which sought to change their faith and 
worship, as they struggle still against the torrents which dash 
down from their snowy peaks, or against the new political ideas 
which are established at their threshold in the cantons around 
them. They will be the last to lay down their arms before the 
double power which is already displaying its signals on all the sur 
rounding hills, and more closely threatening these conservative 

Accordingly, at the period of which I speak, these cantons, still 
more irritated against Berne than against Zurich, and trembling 
when they saw this powerful State escaping from them, called a 
meeting of their deputies at Berne itself, eight days after the con 
ference of Zurich. They called upon the council to depose the 
new teachers, to proscribe their doctrines, and to maintain the 
ancient and true Christian faith, as it had been confirmed by cen 
turies and confessed by martyrs. "Assemble all the bailiwicks of 
the canton: if you refuse, we will take it upon ourselves." The 
Bernese felt irritated, and replied, " We are able enough to speak 
to our own constituents." 

1 M;t hoherem Werth und mehr Dankbarkeit dann wir angenommen. (Zurich 
Archiv. Absch. Sonntag nach Lichtmcsso.) 


This reply only increased the wrath of the Waldstettes and those 
cantons which had been the cradle of the political liberty of Swit 
zerland, alarmed at the progress which religious liberty was making, 
began even to look abroad for allies to destroy it. In combating 
the enemies of enlistments an appeal might be made to enlistments 
themselves, and if the oligarchs of Switzerland were insufficient, 
was it not natural to have recourse to the princes their allies? In 
fact, Austria, which had not been able to maintain its power in the 
confederation, was ready to interpose for the purpose of then 
strengthening the power of Rome. Berne heard with dismay that 
Ferdinand, brother of Charles V, was making preparations against 
Zurich, and against all the adherents of the Reformation. 1 

Circumstances were becoming more critical. A succession of 
events more or less unfortunate, the successes of the Anabaptists, the 
disputes with Luther about the supper, and others besides, seemed to 
have, in a great measure, compromised the Reformation in Swit 
zerland. The discussion of Baden had disappointed the hopes of 
the friends of the papacy, and the sword which they had brandished 
against their enemies, had broken in their hands ; but spite and 
anger had increased, and a new effort was prepared. Already, 
even the imperial power began to put itself in motion, and the 
Austrian bands, which had been forced to flee from the defiles of 
Mcrgarten and the heights of Sempach, were ready again to enter 
Switzerland, with colours flying, to give strength to tottering Rome. 
The moment was decisive. It was no longer possible to chime in 
with both parties, arid be neither " muddy nor clear." Berne and 
other cantons, which had so long been hesitating, behoved to come 
to a determination. It was necessary to return promptly to the 
papacy, or rally with new courage under the standard of Christ. 

A Frenchman, from the mountains of Dauphiny, by name Wil 
liam Farel, at this time gave a powerful impulse to Switzerland, 
determined the Reformation of Romish Helvetia, which was still 
in a profound sleep, and thus turned the balance throughout the 
confederation in favour of the new doctrines. Farel arrived on the 
field of battle like those fresh troops, which at the moment when 
the fate of arms is still uncertain, rush into the thickest of the fight, 
and carry the day. He prepared the way in Switzerland for 
another Frenchman, whose stern faith and powerful genius were 
to put a finishing hand to the Reformation, and render it a com 
plete work. In this way, by means of these illustrious men, France 
took rank in the great movement which was agitating Christian 
society. It is time to turn our eye toward her. 

* Berne to Zurich, Monday after MisericurUe. (Kirchoff, B. Haller, p. 85.) 




Universality of Christianity Enemies of the Reformation in France Heresy and 
Persecution in Dauphiny A Gentleman s Family The Family Farel Pilgrim 
age to St, Croix Immorality and Superstition -William desires to become a 

UNIVERSALITY is one of the essential features of Christianity. It 
is not thus with religions of human origin. They adapt them 
selves to certain nations, arid to the degree of culture which they 
have attained. They keep these nations fixed at a certain point, 
or if by any extraordinary circumstance these nations rise in the 
scale, religion being left behind thereby becomes useless. 

There was an Egyptian, a Greek, a Latin, and even a Jewish 
religion ; Christianity is the only religion for the whole human race. 

Its point of departure in man is sin a characteristic which 
belongs not to a single tribe, but is the inheritance of humanity. 
Accordingly, satisfying the most universal and the most elevated 
wants of our nature, the gospel is received as coming from God by 
the most barbarous tribes, and the most civilised nations. It does 
not consecrate national peculiarities, as did the religions of an 
tiquity ; but neither does it destroy them as modern cosmopolism 
would do. It does better. It sanctifies, ennobles, elevates them 
to a holy unity by the new and living principle which it imparts to 

The introduction of Christianity into the world has produced a 
great revolution in history. Till then there was only a history of 
particular nations ; now there is a history of humanity The idea 
of an universal education of the human race, accomplished by 
Jesus Christ, has become the historian s compass the key of 
history, and the hope of nations. 


But Christianity not merely acts on all nations, it acts on all 
periods of their history. 

At the moment when it appeared, the world was like a torch on 
the point of being extinguished. Christianity made it revive as a 
celestial light. 

At a later period, the barbarians, rushing upon the Roman em 
pire, had broken down and confounded every thing. Christianity, 
opposing the cross to this devastating torrent, thereby subdued the 
wild child of the north, and gave humanity a new form. 

A corrupting element, however, was already hidden in the reli 
gion brought by intrepid missionaries to these rude tribes. Their 
faith came from Rome almost as much as from the Bible. This 
element rapidly increased : man was every where substituted for 
God, (an essential feature in the Romish Church,) and a renova 
tion of religion became necessary. Christianity accomplished it 
at the period of which we write. 

The history of the Reformation in the countries, which we have 
already surveyed, has shown how the new doctrine rejected the 
extravagances of the Anabaptists and the new prophets, but infi 
delity is the obstacle which it encounters, especially in the king 
dom towards which we now turn. No where had bolder protests 
been taken against the superstitions and abuses of the Church. No 
where was there seen a more powerful developement of a certain 
love of letters, a love which, independent of Christianity, often 
leads to irreligion. France earned in her bosom at the same time 
two reformations, the one of man, the other of God. " Two nations 
are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated 
from thy bowels." * 

In France, not only had the Reformation to combat infidelity as 
well as superstition, there was a third enemy which it had not en - 
countered, at least in so powerful a form among the Germanic 
nations, I mean immorality. The disorders in the Church were 
great ; debauchery sat upon the throne of Francis I and Catherine 
de Medicis, and the stern virtues of the Reformers irritated these 
" Sardanapaluses." 2 Every where, no doubt, but especially iii 
France, the Reformation behoved to be not only doctrinal and ec 
clesiastical, but also moral. 

The violent enemies whom the Reformation thus encountered at 
the very outset among the French, stamped it with a peculiar 
character. No where did it dwell so much in dungeons, and re 
semble primitive Christianity in faith and charity, and the number 
of its martyrs. If in the countries of which we have hitherto 
spoken, the Reformation was more glorious by its triumphs in those 

1 Genesis, xxv, 23. a Sardanapalus (Henry II) inter scorta, (Calvini, Ep. M.S.) 


to which our attention is now to be directed, it was rendered more 
glorious by its defeats. If elsewhere it can show more thrones 
and sovereign councils, here it can enumerate more scaffolds and 
meetings in the wilderness. Whoever knows what constitutes the 
true glory of Christianity on the earth, and the features which give 
it a resemblance to its Head, will, with a deep feeling of respect 
and love, study the history, the often times bloody history, which 
we are going to relate. 

The most of the men who have shone on the stage of the world 
were bom in the provinces, and there began to be developed. Paris 
is a tree which presents to the eye a great deal of blossom and 
fruit, but a tree whose roots spread far into the bowels of the earth 
in search of the nourishing juices which these assimilate. The Re 
formation also followed this law. 

The Alps, which saw Christian and intrepid men appear in every 
canton, and almost in every valley of Switzerland, were in France 
also to throw their gigantic shadows over the childhood of some 
of the first Reformers. There were ages when they kept the trea 
sure more or less pure in their high valleys, among the inhabitants 
of the Piedmontese districts of Luzerne, Angrogne, Peyrouse. 
The truth, which Rome had not been able to attack there, had 
spread from these valleys along the slopes and at the foot of these 
mountains in Provence and Dauphiny. 

The year after the accession of Charles VIII, son of Louis XI, 
a sickly, timid child, Innocent VIII had encircled his brow with 
the pontifical tiara (1484). He had seven or eight sons by differ 
ent mothers, and hence, according to an epigram of the time, 
Rome was unanimous in saluting him by the name of Father J- 

There was at this time on all the slopes of the Alps of Dauphiny 
and along all the banks of the Durance, a tinge of ancient Vaudois 
principles. " The roots," says an ancient chronicler, " were con 
stantly and every where setting out new saplings." 2 Bold men 
termed the Romish Church the Church of the evil ones, and main 
tained that it is as profitable to pray in a stable as in a church. 

The priests, bishops, and legates of Rome sent forth a cry of 
alarm, and on the fifth of the calends of May, 1487, Innocent VIII, 
the father of the Romans, launched a bull at these humble Chris 
tians. " To arms," said the pontiff, " and trample these heretics 
under foot as venomous asps." 3 

1 Octo nocens pueros genuit totidemque puellas. 

Hunc merito poterit dicere Roma Patrem. 

2 In Ebredunensi archiepiscopatu veteres Waldeiifiium haereticorum fibrse repul- 
lularunt. (Raynald. Annales Ecclesiast. ad ann. 1487.) 3 Armis insurgant, 

eosque veluti aspides venenosos .... conculcent. (Bull of Innocent VIII, preserved 
at Cambridge. Ledger Histoire des Eglises Vaudoises, ii, p. &) 


At the approach of the legate, followed by an army of eighteen 
thousand men, and a multitude of volunteers who wished to share 
the spoil, the Vaudois abandoned their dwellings, and withdrew to 
the mountains, to caverns, and the clefts of rocks, as birds fly 
away the moment the tempest begins to grumble. Not a valley, 
not a wood, not a rock escaped the persecutors ; every where in 
this part of the Alps, and particularly in the direction of Italy, 
these poor disciples of Christ were tracked like deer. At length 
the satellites of the pope grew weary, their strength was exhausted, 
their feet could no longer climb the steep retreats of " the heretics," 
and their arms refused to strike. 

In these Alpine countries, thus agitated by the fanaticism of 
Rome, about three leagues from the ancient town of Gap, 1 in the 
direction of Grenoble, not far from the flowery turf which carpets 
the flat top of the mountain of Bayard, at the bottom of mount 
Aiguille, and near the Col de Glaize, not far from where the Buzon 
takes its rise, there was, and still is, a group of houses half hid by 
trees, and which bears the name of Farel, or, in provincial dialect, 
Fareau. 2 On an extensive terrace raised above the neighbouring 
huts, there stood one of those houses which are called mansion 
houses. It was surrounded by an orchard which was continued to 
the village. There, in those troublous times, lived, as it appears, 
a noble family of known piety, of the name of Farel. 3 In the 
year when the papacy displayed its greatest severities in Dauphiny, 
in the year 1489, was born, in this modest residence, a son, who 
was named William. Three brothers, Daniel, Walter, and Claude, 
and a sister, grew up with William and shared his sports on the 
banks of the Buzon, and at the foot of the Bayard. 

There passed William s childhood and early youth. His father 
and mother were most devoted servants of the papacy. He says 
himself, " my father and mother believed everything ;" 4 they accord 
ingly brought up their children in all the observances of Home. 

God had endowed William Farel with rare qualities, fitted to 
give him an ascendancy over others. Of a penetrating intellect, 
a lively imagination, great sincerity and uprightness, and a great 
ness of soul which would not allow him, for any consideration, to 
betray the convictions of his heart, he had, moreover, an ardour 

1 Principal town in the High Alps. 2 Survey of Dauphiny, July, 1837, p. 35, 

In going from Grenoble to Gap, about a quarter of an hour after passing the last stage, 
about a stone cast to the ri^ht of the public road, is seen the village of the Farels. 
The terrace on which the house of Farel s father stood is still shown. It is now in 
deed only occupied as a hut, but we see, by its dimensions, that it is much larger than 
au ordinary house. The occupier of the hut bears the name of Farel. I owe this in 
formation to Mr. Blanc, pastor of Mens. 3 Gulielmum Farellum Delphinatem 
nobili familia ortum. (Bezos Icones.) Calvin, in his letter to Cardinal Sadolet, men 
tions, as proof of Farel s disinterestedness, "his being sprung from so noble a house." 
(Opuscula, p. 148.) * Of the True Use of the Cross, by William Farel, p. 237. 


a fire, an indomitable courage, an intrepidity which recoiled at no 
obstacle. But, at the same time, he had the faults which accom 
pany these qualities, and his parents had frequent occasion to check 
his violence. 

William entered with his whole soul into the superstitious views 
of his credulous family. " I am horrified, 1 said he, u when I think 
of the hours, the prayers, and divine services which 1 have paid, 
and caused to be paid, to the cross and other such like things. 1 J 

Four leagues to the south of Gap, near Tallard, on a mountain 
which rises above the impetuous waters of the Durance, was a place 
in high repute, named St. Croix. When William was scarcely 
seven or eight years of age, his parents resolved to take him on a 
pilgrimage. 2 " The cross at this place," said they, ** is made of the 
real wood on which Jesus Christ was crucified." 

The family set out, and at length reached the venerated cross, 
before which they prostrated themselves. After considering the 
sacred wood and the copper of the cross, made, said the priest, of 
the basin in which our Lord washed his disciples feet, the eyes of 
the pilgrims were directed to a little crucifix attached to the cross. 
" When the devils," resumed the priest, " make hail and thunder; 
this crucifix moves so that it seems to detach itself from the cross, 
as if wishing to rush against the devil. It also throws out fiery 
sparks previous to bad weather: did it not do so the whole fruits of 
the earth would be destroyed." 3 

The pious pilgrims were deeply moved on being told of these 
great prodigies. " No one," continued the priest, "knows and sees 
any of these things save I and this man . . ." The pilgrims turned 
round and saw a man near them of a strange exterior. " His very 
appearance caused fear," says Farel. 4 There were white specks 
on the balls of both his eyes " whether they were real, or 
Satan only made a semblance of them." This extraordinary man 
whom the unbelieving called " the priest s sorcerer," being appealed 
to by the priest, immediately confirmed his statements. 5 A new 
episode completed the picture, and to superstition added a suspicion 
of criminal irregularities. " Lo, a young female, who had some 
other devotion than the cross, carrying an infant under her cloak. 
Then the priest came forward, and, taking the woman and the 
child, led them within the chapel. I venture to say, ne er did 
dancer take a female and lead her off in better style. But the 
blindness was such that no regard was paid to this. Had they 
even acted indecently before us, we should still have deemed it 

1 Of the True Use of the Cross, by William Fare], p. 232. 2 I was very young 

i and could scarcely read. (Ibid., p. 232.) My first pilgrimage -was to the holy cross. 
I (Ibid., p. 233.) a Ibid., pp. 235 239. * Ibid., p. 237. 3 ibid,. -J&S. 


good and holy. It was too clear that the woman, and her gallant 
of a priest, well knew the miracle, and made it a cover to their 
intercourse." 1 

We have here a faithful picture of the religion and manners of 
France at the commencement of the Reformation. Morality and 
doctrine were equally poisoned, and a powerful revival was required 
for both. The greater the value men attached to external works, 
the farther they were removed from holiness of heart ; dead ordi 
nances had every where been substituted for the Christian life, and 
(strange, yet natural union) the most scandalous profligacy was 
seen united to the most superstitious devotion. Theft had been 
perpetrated before the altar, seduction at the confessional, poison 
ing in the mass, adultery at the foot of a cross: superstition, by 
destroying doctrine*, had destroyed morality. 

Still, there were numerous exceptions in Christendom during the 
middle ages. A faith, even though superstitious, may be sincere. 
Of this, William Farel is an instance. The same zeal that at a 
later period carried him to so many places to spread the knowledge 
of Jesus Christ, now drew him to every place where the church ex 
hibited some miracle, or claimed some adoration. Dauphiny 
had its seven wonders, which had long worked upon the imagina 
tion of its inhabitants. 2 But there were also in the natural beauties 
with which it is surrounded objects that might well raise their souls 
to the Creator. 

The magnificent chain of the Alps, those*summits covered with 
eternal snow, those vast rocks which sometimes throw up their sharp , 
peaks into the air, sometimes extend their broken ridges beyond the 
clouds, where they seem like some solitary island in the skies ; all 
these sublimities of creation which were then elevating the soul of 
Ulric Zuinglius, in the Tockenburg, were also speaking powerfully 
to the heart of William Farel in the mountains of Dauphiny. He 
was thirsting for life, light, and knowledge : his aspirations were for 
something great .... he asked leave to study. 

This was a great blow to his father, who thought that a young 
noble ought to know only his rosary and his sword. At this time 
the country was ringing with the fame of a young countryman of 
William Farel, from Dauphiny like himself named Du Terrail, but 
better known by the name of Bayard, who, at the battle of Tar, 
on the other side of the Alps, had given a signal display of courage. 
" Such sons," it was said, " are like arrows in the hand of a mighty 
man. Happy the man who has his quiver filled with them." Farel s 
father, accordingly, opposed his son s inclination for study. But 

1 True Use of the Cross, p. 235. Some of the words are softened. 

2 The burning spring, the pools of Sassenage, the manna of Briangon, etc. 


the young man was inflexible. God designed him for nobler con 
tests than those of Bayard. He continually returned to the charge, 
and at last the old gentleman yielded. 1 

Fare! immediately devoted himself to his task with astonishing 
ardour. The masters whom he found in Dauphiny were of little 
use to him, and he had to straggle against the bad methods and 
trifling of his preceptors. 2 These difficulties only stimulated him, 
and he had soon surmounted them. His brothers followed his 
example. Daniel ultimately became a politician, and was employed 
in some important negotiations concerning religion. 3 Gautier 
gained the entire confidence of the Count of Furstemberg. 

Farel, having learned all that could be learned in his province, 
and still feeling eager for knowledge, turned his eyes to another 
quarter. The university of Paris had long been renowned over the 
Christian world. He was desirous to see " this mother of all the 
sciences, this true light of the Church, which never suifers an 
eclipse, this pure and polished mirror of the faith which no cloud 
obscures, and no touch stains." 4 He obtained permission from his 
parents, and set out for the capital of France. 


Louis XII, and the Assembly of Tours Francis and Margaret The Literati 
Lefevre His teaching at the University Lefevre and Farel meet Doubts and 
Inquiries of Farel First awakening Prophecy of Lefevre He teaches Justifica 
tion by Faith Objections Irregularities in Colleges Effects on Farel Election 
Holiness of Life. 

One day, in the year 1510, or shortly after, the young stranger 
from Dauphiny arrived in Paris. The province life had made him 
an ardent follower of the papacy the capital was to make him 
something different. The Reformation in France was not to come 
forth from a small town, as it did in Germany. All the impetus 
which agitate the population proceed from the metropolis. At the 
commencement of the sixteenth century various providential cir 
cumstances concurred to make Paris a kind of focus from which a 
spark of fire might easily escape. The youth from the neighbour 
hood of Gap, who now arrived, humble and unknown, was to 
receive this spark into his heart. Several others received it with 

1 Cum a parentibus vix impetrassem ad Htteras concessum. (Farel, Natali Galeoto, 
1527, M.S. Letters of the Consistory of Neufehatel.) 2 A praceptoribus prsectpue in 
Latina lingua ineptissimis institutus. (Farelli Epist.) 1 had the silliest teachers, 
especially in Latin. 3 Life of Farel, M.S., at Geneva. * Universitatem 

Parisiensem matrem omnium scientiarum .... speculum fidei torsum et politurn 
.... (Priina Apellat Universit. an. 1&)6, Bukeus, iv, p. 806.) 

3 M 


Louis XII, the father of his people, had just called a con 
vocation of the French clergy at Tours. This prince seems to 
have anticipated the days of the Reformation ; so much so, that, 
had this great revolution taken place during his reign, all France 
might perhaps have been Protestant. The assembly of Tours had 
declared that the king was entitled to make war on the pope, and 
execute the decrees of the Council of Basle, These decrees were 
the subject of general conversation in the colleges, as well as in the 
city and at court, and must have made a deep impression on young 
Farel s mind. 

Two children were then growing up at the court of France. The 
one was a young prince of a tall and striking figure, who showed 
little moderation in his character, and recklessly followed any 
course that passion* dictated. Hence the king was wont to say, 
" This great boy will spoil all." l This was" Francis of Angoul&ne, 
Duke of Valois, and cousin to the king. Boisy, his preceptor, how 
ever, taught him to honour literature. 

Beside Francis was his sister Margaret, two years older than 
he, " a princess," says Brantome, " of very great wit and ability, 
as well natural as acquired." 2 Accordingly, Louis XII had spared 
nothing on her education, and the most learned men in the king 
dom hastened to acknowledge her as their patroness. 

In fact, a body of distinguished characters already surrounded 
Francis and Margaret of Valois. William Bude\ who, at twenty- 
three, given up to his passions, and especially to the chase, living 
only for his birds, horses, and dogs, had all at once stopped short, 
sold his equipage, and begun to study with the same ardour 
which had led him amid his hounds to scour the fields and forests, 3 
the physician Cop, Francis Vatable, a wonder to the Jewish mas 
ters themselves for the extent of his knowledge of Hebrew, James 
Tusan, a celebrated Greek scholar, and other literati besides, encour 
aged by Stephen Poncher, Bishop of Paris, by Louis Ruze, civil 
lieutenant, and by Francis of Luynes, and already patronised by the 
two young Valois, withstood the violent attacks of the Sorbonne, 
who regarded the study of Greek and Hebrew as the most dreadful 
heresy. At Paris, as in Germany and Switzerland, the re- estab 
lishment of sound doctrine, was to be preceded by the revival of 
letters. But in France, the hands which thus prepared the materials, 
were not to erect the edifice. 

Among the teachers who then adorned the capital, was re 
marked a man of very small stature, of mean appearance, and 
humble origin, 4 whose intellect, learning, and powerful eloquence 

l Mezeray, vol. iv, p. 127. 2 BrantSme Dames Illustres, p. 331. 8 His wife and 
children came to Geneva in 1540, after his death. * Homunculi unius neqxie 

pc nere insignis. (Bezse Icones.) One little man of no ftimily. 



had an indescribable charm over his hearers. He was named 
Lefevre, and was born about 1455, at Etaples, a small place in 
Picardy. He had received only a rnde, or as Theodore Beza calls 
it, a barbarous education ; but his genius had supplied the place of 
teachers, and his piety, learning, and nobleness of character only 
shone with greater lustre. He had travelled much. It would even 
seem that the desire of extending his knowledge had taken him to 
Asia and Africa. 1 As early as 1493, Lefevre, who had taken his 
degree as doctor in theology, was a professor at the university of 
Paris. He forthwith obtained an eminent, in the opinion of Eras 
mus, 2 the first place. 

Lefevre felt that he had a task to perform. Although attached 
to the observances of Rome, he proposed to combat the barbarism 
which prevailed at the university, 3 and began to teach the branches 
of philosophy with a clearness previously unknown. He laboured 
to revive the study of languages and of classical antiquity. He 
went still farther. He became aware that, when a work of revival 
is in question, philosophy and literature are insufficient. Therefore, 
leaving scholastics, which alone had for several ages occupied the 
school, he returned to the Bible, and brought back to Christendom 
the study of the Holy Scriptures and evangelical knowledge. He 
did not devote himself to barren researches : he went to the core of 
the Bible. His eloquence, frankness, and amiable manners, capti 
vated all hearts. Grave, and full of unction in the pulpit, he lived 
on terms of gentle familiarity with his pupils. Glarean, one of 
them, writing to Zuinglius, says, "He is exceedingly kind to me. 
Full of candour and goodness, he sings, plays, and debates with me, 
and often laughs at the folly of this world." 4 Accordingly a great 
number of pupils from every country sat at his feet. 

This man, with all his learning, submitted, with the simplicity 
of a child, to all the ordinances of the Church. He spent as much 
time in churches as in his study, so that an intimate connection 
might have been predicted between the old doctor of Picardy, and 
the young scholar of Dauphiny. When two natures, so much alike, 
meet, they draw to each other. In his pious pilgrimages young 
Farel soon remarked an old man, and was struck with his devout- 
ness. He prostrated himself before the images, and, remaining long 
upon his knees, prayed with fervour, and devoutly repeated his 
hours. " Never," says Farel, " had I seen any singer of mass who 

1 See his Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, where there is a 
singular account of Mecca and its temple from a traveller. 2 Fabro, viro quo 

vix in multis millibus reperias vel integviorem vel humaniorem. (Er. Ep. p. 174.) 
Lefevre, than whom you will scarcely find a man among- thousands oi ? greater integrity 
or refinement 3 Barbariem nobilissirroe academiaj .... incumbentem detrudi. 

Bezce Icones.) * Supra modum me amat totus integer et candidus, mecum 

cantillat, ludit, disputat, ridet mecum. (Zw. Ep. p. ?6.) 


sang it with greater reverence." 1 This was Lefevre. William 
Farel immediately desired to approach him, and was overjoyed 
when this celebrated man kindly accosted him. William had gained 
his object in coming to the capital. From this time his greatest 
happiness was to converse with the doctor of Etaples, to hear him 
and his admirable lectures, and devoutly prostrate himself with 
him before the same images. Old Lefevre and his young pupil 
were often seen carefully decking an image of the Virgin with 
flowers, and far from all Paris, far from pupils and teachers, 
muttering together by themselves the fervent prayers which they 
addressed to Mary. 2 

The attachment of Farel for Lefevre being observed by several, 
the respect which was felt for the old doctor was reflected on his 
young disciple. Tkis illustrious friendship brought the stranger 
of Dauphiuy out of obscurity. He soon gained a name for zeal, 
and several rich and devout persons in Paris entrusted him with 
different sums for the maintenance of poor students. 3 

Some time elapsed before Lefevre and his pupil came to a clear 
view of the truth. It was .not the hope of a rich benefice, nor a 
longing for a life of dissoluteness that attached Farel to the pope 
these vulgarities were not made for such a soul. To him the pop 
was the visible head of the Church a sort of god by whose com 
mands souls were saved. If he heard a word uttered against his 
venerated pontiff, he gnashed his teeth like a raging wolf, and could 
have wished the thunder to strike the guilty individual, and thereby 
" completely sink and ruin him." "I believe," said he, "in the 
cross, in pilgrimages, in images, vows, and bones. What the priest 
holds in his hands, puts in the box, encloses, eats, and gives to be 
eaten, is my only true God. I have no other, either in heaven or 
on the earth." 4 "Satan," said he, on another occasion, "had 
lodged the pope, the papacy, and all that belongs to it, in my heart, 
so that even the pope had not so much of it in himself." 

Thus, the more Farel seemed to seek God, the more his piety 
languished, and the more superstition increased in his soul ; every 
thing went from bad to worse. He has himself described his state 
with great energy. 5 " Oh how I am horrified at myself, and my 
faults, when I think how great and wonderful the work of God in 
making it possible for man to be delivered from such an abyss." 

But though he was delivered, it was only by degrees. At first he 
had read profane authors, but his piety, finding no nurture in them, 

1 Epistle of Farel to all lords, people, and pastors. 2 Floribus jubebat 

Marianum idolum, dum mia soli mimnuraremus preces Marianas ad idolum, ornari. 
(Farellus Pellicano, an. 155G.) 3 Manuscript at Geneva. * Farel, to all 

lords, etc. 5 (juo ulus pergere et promovere adnitebar, eo amplius retrocedebain. 

/Tar. Galeoto, M.S. Letters of Neufchatel.) 


he began to meditate on the lives of the saints ; foolish as he 
was, these lives made him become still more foolish. 1 He then 
attached himself to several teachers of the day, but, after coming 
to them unhappy, he left them miserable. He at length began to 
study the ancient philosophers, and expected Aristotle would teach 
him how to be a Christian : his hopes were still disappointed. Bookie 
images, relics, Aristotle, Mary, and the saints, all were useless. This 
ardent soul passed from one human wisdom to another human wis 
dom, without ever finding wherewith to appease the hunger which 
was wasting him. 

Meanwhile, the pope allowing the writings of the Old and New 
Testament to be called the Holy Bible, Farel began to read them, as 
Luther once did in the cloister of Erfurth, and he stood quite aghast, 2 
on seeing that every thing on the earth was different from what the 
Holy Scriptures enjoin. Perhaps he was on the eve of arriving at 
the truth, but suddenly double darkness fell upon him, and he was 
plunged into a new abyss. " Satan suddenly arrived," says he, 
u in order that he might not lose his possession, and dealt with me 
according to his custom." 3 A fierce struggle between the word of 
God and the word of the Church then arose in his heart. When 
he met with any passages of Scripture opposed to the usages of 
Home, he held down his eyes, blushed, and durst scarcely believe 
what he read. 4 "Ah," said he, fearing to fix his eyes on the Bible, 
U I don t well understand such things. I must give these Scripture 
another meaning than they seem to have : I must keep to the inter 
pretation of the Church and the view of the pope ! " 

One day when he was reading the Bible, a doctor having entered, 
rebuked him sharply. "No man," said he, "should read theHolv 
Scriptures till he has learned philosophy, and finished his course of 
arts." This was a preparation which the apostles had not de 
manded ; but Farel believed it was. " I was," says he, " the 
unhappiest of men, shutting my eyes that I might not see." 5 

Thenceforth there was in the young Dauphinist a revival of 
Romish fervour. The legends of the saints excited his imagina 
tion. The more severe the monastic rules were, the greater his 
inclination for them. Carthusians dwelt in gloomy cells in the midst 
of woods. He visited them with respect, and took part in their 
abstinences. "I employed myself entirely night and day," saye 
he, " in serving the devil, according to the man of sin the pope. 
I had my Pantheon in my heart, and so many intercessors, so 
many saviours, so many gods, that I might well have been taken 
for a popish register." 

1 Quae de sanctis conscripta offendebam, verum ex stulto insanum faciebant. (Far. 
Saleoto, M.S. Letters n\ Neutcliatel.) 2 F are i to all lords, etc. 3 Ibid. 

* Oculos demittens, visis non credebam. (Farel Galeoto.) 5 Oculos a !u e 



The darkness could not become greater, the star of the morning 
was soon to rise, and it was at Lefevre s word that it was to ap 
pear. In the doctor of Etaples there were already some rays 
of light : a feeling within told him that the Church could not 
remain in the state in which it then was ; and often, at the very 
moment when he was returning from mass, or rising up from be 
fore some image, the old man turned to his young pupil, and, grasp 
ing his hand, said to him with a grave tone, "My dear William, 
God will renovate the world, as you shall see." l Farel did not per 
fectly understand these words. Lefevre, however, did not confine 
himself to mysterious expressions. A great change which then 
took place in himself, was to produce a similar change in his pupil. 

The old doctor was engaged in a work of vast labour. He was 
carefully collecting the legends of the saints and martyrs, and ar 
ranging them according to the order of their names in the Kalen- 
dar. Two months were already printed, Avhen one of those rays 
which come from above beamed upon his soul. He could not 
withstand the disgust which childish superstitions begot in a Chris 
tian heart. The grandeur of the word of God made him sensible 
of the wretchedness of these fables. They now appeared to him 
nothing better than " sulphur to kindle the fire of idolatry." He 
abandoned his task, and throwing away the legends, turned with 
affection to the second volume. The moment when Lefevre, quit- 
ing the marvellous tales of the saints, laid his hand upon the word 
of God, is the commencement of a new era in France, and the be 
ginning of its Eefonnation. 

In fact, Lefevre on returning from the fables of the Breviary be 
gan to study the Epistles of St. Paul. The light grew rapidly in 
his heart, and he immediately put his pupils in possession of that 
knowledge of the truth, which we find in his Commentaries. 3 
Strange to the school and to the age were those doctrines which 
were then heard in Paris, and which the press diffused over the 
Christian world. We easily conceive that the young scholars who 
listened to them were struck, moved, changed, and that thus, even 
before the year 1512, the dawn of a new day was prepared for 

The doctrine of justification by faith, which at one blow over 
threw the subtilties of the schoolmen, and the observances of the 

1 Farel to all lords, etc. See, also the letter to Pellican. Ante annos plus minus qua. 
dmginta, me manu apprehensum ita alloquebatur : "Guillelme, oportet orbem ini- 
rnutari et tu vidt-bis!" About forty years ago, less or more, haying taken me by the 
hand he thus addressed me, " William, the world must be changed, and you shall Be 
it 2 Farel to all lords, etc. 3 The first edition of his Commentaries 
on the Epistles of St. Paul, is dated, I believe in 15J2. There is a copy in the Royal 
Library at Paris. I quote from the second edition. The learned Simon says, (Obser 
vations on the New Testament,) that "James Lefevre must be placed among the ablest 
commentators of his :ige." We would go still farther. 



papacy, was openly announced in the bosom of the Sorbonne. " It 
is God alone," said the doctor, and the halls of the University 
must have been astonished when they re-echoed these strange words, 
" It is God alone, who by his grace through faith justifies unto 
eternal life. 1 There is a righteousness of works, and there is u 
righteousness of grace ; the one comes from man, the other from 
God ; the one is earthly and transient, the other is divine and eter 
nal ; the one is the shadow and the sign, the other is the light and 
the truth; the one gives the knowledge of sin in order that we 
may flee from death, the other gives knowledge of grace that we 
may obtain life." 2 

" What then," it was asked, on hearing doctrines which contra 
dicted those of four previous centuries, " was there ever a single 
man justified without works?" * A single man," replied Lefevre, 
"innumerable men. How many among people of bad lives have 
ardently desired the grace of baptism, having only faith in Chrisi, 
and have if they died immediately after, entered the mansions of 
the blessed without works!" "But some will say, if we are not 
justified by works, it is in vain for us to do them." The doctor of 
Paris replied, and perhaps the other Reformers would not have en 
tirely approved of the reply; "Certainly not it is not in vain. If I 
hold a mirror turned toward the sun, it receives the sun s image. 
The more it is polished and cleaned, the more brilliant the image is, 
but if it is soiled the brilliancy is lost. It is the same with justifi 
cation in those who lead an impure life." Lefevre in this passage, 
as St. Augustine in several, perhaps does not distinguish sufficient 
ly between justification and sanctification. The doctor of Etaples 
reminds us somewhat of the bishop of Hippo. Those who lead 
an impure life, have never had justification, and consequently they 
cannot lose it. But peril aps Lefevre meant, that when the Chris 
tian falls into some fault, he loses the impression of his salvation, 
not salvation itself. In that case there is nothing to object to his 

Thus a new life and a new doctrine had penetrated the university 
of Paris. The doctrine of faith, which, a Pothinus and an Irenseus 
preached of old in Gaul again resounded. Thenceforth there were 
two parties and two classes of people in this great school of Chris 
tendom. The lessons of Lefevre, the zeal of his scholars formed a 
very striking contrast with the scholastic lectures of the greater 
part of the teachers, and the fickle giddy lives of the greater part of 
the students. In colleges, to learn to play parts in comedy, to deck 

1 Solus enim Deus cstqui hanc justitiam per fid cm tradii, qui sola gratia ad viiam 
nistifioat JBternam, (Fabri Comm. in Epp. Puuli, p. 70.) 2 Ilia umbra tiliu 

vestigium atque sign urn, hocc lux et vcritas est. (Ibid.) 


in putting on grotesque dresses, and acting farces in the streets, 
than in studying to become acquainted with the oracles of God. 
These farces often attacked the honour of grandees, princes, and 
the king himself. The parliament interposed about the time of 
which we speak, calling the principals of several colleges before 
it, and forbidding these indulgent masters to allow such comedies 
to be performed in their houses. 1 

But these disorders were suddenly corrected by a more power 
ful dissuasive than the decrees of Parliament. Jesus Christ was 
taught. Rumour was loud on the benches of the university, and 
the students began to occupy themselves almost as much with 
evangelical doctrines, as with the subtleties of the school, or with 
comedies. Several of those whose lives were not the most irre 
proachable, stood out for icorks, and perceiving that the doctrine 
of faith condemned their conduct, maintained that St. James was 
opposed to St. Paul. Lefevre determined to defend the treasure 
which he had discovered, and demonstrated the agreement of the 
two apostles. u Does not St. James say (chap, i,) that every good 
and perfect gift cometh from above ? Now who denies that justi- 
cation is the perfect gift, the crowning grace ? . . . When we sec 
an individual breathe, we regard it as a sign of life. Thus works 
are necessary but only as signs of a living faith, which justification 
accompanies. 2 Do CoSlyi-iiums or purifications give light to the 
eye? No ; it is the power of the sun. Very well ; these purifica 
tions and these collyriiums are our works. The only ray which the 
sun darts from above is justification itself." 3 

At these lectures, Farel was an eager listener. This doctrine of 
salvation by grace had soon an indescribable charm for him. Every 
objection gave way, all struggle ceased. No sooner had Lefevre 
broached the doctrine, than Farel embraced it with his whole soul. 
He had had enough of toils and wrestlings to know that he could not 
save himself. Accordingly, as soon as he saw in the word, that 
God saves gratuitously, he believed. " Lefevre," says he, " drew me 
off from my false idea of merit, and taught me that every thing 
comes by grace : this I believed as soon as it was told me. " 4 
Thus by a sudden and decisive conversion like that of St. Paul, was 
brought to thq faith, this Farel who as Theodore Beza expresses 
it, not being deterred by threatenings, or insults, or blows, won for 
Jesus Christ, Montbelliard, Neufchatel, Lausanne, Aigle, and 
lastly Geneva. 5 

1 Crevier History of the University, V, p. 95. 3 Opera signa vivas fidei, qnam 

justificatio sequitur. (Fabri Comm. in Epp. Pauli, p. 73.) 3 Sed radius 

desuper a sole vibratus, justificatio est flbid. p. 73.) * Farel to all lords. 

5 Nullis difficultatibus fractus, nullis minis, convitis, verberibus denique intiictis 
territus. (Bezae Icones.) 



Meanwhile, Lefevre continuing his lectures and taking pleasure 
like Luther, in employing contrasts, and paradoxes, which cover 
great truths, extolled the grandeur of the mystery of redemption. 
; Ineffable exchange, exclaimed he, innocence is condemned and the 
guilty is acquitted; blessing is cursed, and he who was cursed is 
blest; life dies and death receives life ; glory is covered with confu 
sion, and he who was confounded is covered with ""glory." l The 
pious doctor penetrating still farther, perceived that all salvation 
emanates from the love of God. " Those who are saved," said 
he, " are so by election, by grace, by the will of God, and not by 
their own will. Our election, our will, our works, are without 
efficacy ; the election of God alone is most powerful. When we 
are converted, our conversion does not make us the elect of God. 
but the grace, the will, the election of God convert us." 2 

But Lefevre did not stop at doctrines. While he rendered 
glory to God, he demanded obedience from man, and urged the 
obligations flowing from the high privileges of the Christian. 
"Ifthou art of the Church of Christ, thou art of the body of 
Christ, thou art filled with the divinity ; for the fulness of the 
Godhead dwells in him bodily." Oh ! if mon could comprehend 
this privilege, how carefully they would maintain purity, chastity, 
and holiness, and account all the glory of the world disgrace in 
comparison of the inward glory which is hidden from the eye of 
sense. 3 

Lefevre felt that the teacher of the Word holds a high office, 
and he exercised it with unshaken fidelity. The corruption of the 
period, and particularly that of the clergy, excited his indignation, 
and was made the subject of severe lectures. " What a shame," 
said he, " to see a bishop entreating people to drink with him, 
making gaming his only study, handling the dice and cornet, tak 
ing up his time with birds and dogs, constantly hunting and 
shouting after beagles and hares, entering houses of debauchery. 4 
. . . . O, men, more deserving of punishment than Sardanapalus 
himself !" 

1 ineffabile commercium ! . . . (Fabri Comm. 145 verso.) O ineffable inter- 
course. 2 Inefficax est ad hoc ipsum nostra vuluntas, nostra electio ; Dei auten. 

electio efficacissima et potentissima, etc. (Fabri Com. p. 89, verso.) 3 Si de cor- 

pore Christi, divinitate repletus es. (Ibid., p. 176, \erso.) * Et virgunculas 

gremio tenentem, cum suaviis sermones miscentevr li*icLp. 208.) -., ,, 



Farel and the Saint-; The University Conversion of Farel Farel and Luther 
Other Disciples Date of the Reformation in France The different Reformation 
spontaneous Which is the first ? Place due to Lefevre. 

Thus spake Lefevre. Farel listened, thrilled with delight, re 
ceived all, and threw himself into the new path suddenly opened 
before him. There was, however, a point of his old creed which, as 
yet, he was unable to yield ; this was the Saints and the Invocation 
of them. The best intellects often have these remains of darkness, 
and retain them after their illumination. Farel listened with aston 
ishment, when the illustrious doctor declared that Christ alone was 
to be invoked. " Religion," said Lefevre, "has only one foundation, 
one aim, one head, Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever. He alone 
trode the wine-press ; and therefore we do not take our name from 
St. Paul, Apollos, or St. Peter. The cross of Christ alone opens 
heaven, and alone shuts the gate of hell." On hearing these 
words, there was a great struggle in FareFs soul. On the one 
hand he saw the multitude of the saints with the Clmrch ; on the 
other, Jesus Christ alone was his Master. Sometimes he leant to 
the one side, and sometimes to the other. It was his last error 
and his last combat; he hesitated, he still felt attached to the 
venerated men, at whose feet Home falls prostrate. At length the 
decisive blow was given from on high. The scales fell from his 
eyes. Jesus alone appeared worthy of adoration. "Then, "says 
he, u the papacy was entirely overthrown : I began to detest it as- 
diabolical, and the holy word of God had the first place in my 
heart." * 

Public events hastened the progress of Farel and his friends. 
Thomas De Vio, who, at a later period, had a wrestle with Lutlicr 
at Augsburg, having in one of his works advanced that the pope 
was absolute monarch of the Church, Louis XII laid the work before 
the university, in the month of February, 1512. James Allman, one 
of the youngest doctors, a man of profound genius and an indefa 
tigable student, in a full assembly of the faculty of theology, and 
amid great applause, read a refutation of the assertions of the 
cardinal. 2 

What impression must not such addresses have produced on 
Lefevre s young scholars! Could they hesitate, when the uni 
versity seemed impatient of the papal yoke ? If the main body 
began to move, must not they hasten on in front as pioneers ? 

1 Farel. To all lords, etc. 2 Crevier Hist, of the Un. v, p. 81. 


"It was necessary," says Farel, " that the papacy should fall in 
my heart by little and little ; for it (lid not come down at the first 
stroke." 1 He contemplated the abyss of superstition into which he 
had been plunged. Arrested on its banks, he once more, with 
uneasiness, surveyed all its depths, and recoiled with a feeling of 
terror. " Oh, how much I am horrified at myself and my faults! " 
he exclaimed. 2 "O Lord," continued he, "if my soul had 
served thee with a living faith as thy faithful servants have done ; 
if it had prayed and honoured thee as much as my heart did the 
mass, and served this magic morsel, giving it all honour ! " Thus 
the youth of Dauphiny deplored his past life, and repeated, with 
tears, like St. Augustine of old, " Too late have I known, too late 
have I loved thee." 

Farel had found Jesus Christ, and having arrived in port, was 
happy to rest, after long tempests. 3 " Now," said he, " every 
thing presents itself in a new light. 4 The Scriptures are made 
clear, the Prophets are opened, the Apostles shed great light upon 
my soul. 5 A voice, hitherto unknown, the voice of Christ my 
Shepherd, my Master, my Teacher, speaks to me with power." 6 He 
was so changed, that instead of the murderous heart of a ravening 
wolf, he returned, he said, calmly as a meek and lovely lamb, with 
a heart entirely withdrawn from the pope, and devoted to Jesus 
{Jhrist. 7 

Escaped from this great evil, he turned towards the Bible, 8 and 
began the diligent study of Greek and Hebrew. 9 He constantly 
read the Holy Scriptures, and always with deeper affection, God 
enlightening him from day to day. He still continued to attend 
the old worship in the churches. Hut what did he find in it ? In 
numerable cries and chants, and words pronounced without mean 
ing. 10 Accordingly, often in the midst of the multitude, who were 
thronging towards an image or an altar, he exclaimed, u Thou 
alone art God: thou alone art wise: thou alone art good. 11 
Nothing is to be taken from thy holy law, nothing added to it ; 
for thou art the Lord alone, who wiliest and oughtest to com 

Thus, in his eyes, all men and all teachers fell from the heights 
on which his imagination had placed them ; he no longer saw any 
thing in the world but God and his word. The persecutions which 
the other teachers of Paris employed against Lefevre, lost them 

Farel. To all lords, etc. 2 (Ibid.) 3 Animus per varia jactatus, verum 

nactus portum, soli lunsit. (Farel Galeoto.) * Jam rerun* nuva fades. (Ibid.) 

5 Notior scriptura, apertiores prophets, lucidiores, apostoli. (Ibid.) 6 Agnita 

pa storis, magistri et prteceptoris Christ! vox. (Ibid.) 7 Farel. To all lords, etc 

8 Lego sacra ut causam iuveniam. (Farel Galeoto.) Life of Farel. MS. ol 

Geneva and Choupard. 10 Clamores multi, cantiones inuumera?. (Farel Ga- 

luot ).) J Vcre tu solus Deus ! (Ibid.) 


his good opinion. But shortly Lefevre himself, his beloved guide, 
was nothing to him but a man. He always loved and revered 
him, but God only became his master. 

Of all the Reformers, Farel and Luther, perhaps, are those whose 
spiritual developments we know best, and who had to endure the 
greatest conflicts. Keen and ardent, men of attack and battle, 
they had to maintain violent struggles before they obtained peace. 
Farel is the pioneer of the Reformation in Switzerland ; he throws 
himself into the thicket; he takes his axe and hews down the se 
cular forests. Calvin comes at a later period, as does Melancthon, 
from whom, no doubt, he differs in regard to disposition, but with 
whom he shares the character of theologian and organiser. These 
two men, the one in the graceful, the other in the stem class of 
character, somewhat resemble the lawgivers of antiquity. They 
build up, constitute, and make laws in the countries which the two 
previous Reformers had gained. Still, if Luther and Farel have 
some features in common, it must be acknowledged that the latter 
is only an inferior resemblance. Besides his superior genius, 
Luther had, in every thing which concerned the Church, a modera 
tion, a wisdom, a knowledge of the past, a comprehensiveness of 
view, and even an organising power, which exist not to the same 
degree in the Reformer of Dauphiny. 

Farel was not the only young Frenchman in whom new light 
then arose. The doctrines, which proceeded from the mouth of 
the illustrious doctor of Etaples, were working in the minds of the 
multitude who followed his lessons. In his school were formed 
brave soldiers, who on the day of battle were to fight on to the 
very foot of the scaffold. They listened, compared, and discuss 
ed, arguing keenly on both sides. It is not improbable, that 
among the small number of scholars who defended the truth, was 
young Peter Robert Olivetan, born at Noyon, towards the end of the 
fifteenth century, who, at a later period, translated the Bible into 
French, after the translation of Lefevre ; and appears to have been 
the first to bring the doctrines of the gospel under the notice of a 
young kinsman, also a native of Noyon, and afterwards the most 
distinguished leader of the Reformation. 1 

Thus, before 1512, at a time when Luther had not yet acquired 
any distinction in the world, and was setting out to Rome on a 
concern of monks, at a period when Zuinglius had not even begun 
to devote himself zealously to sacred literature, and was crossing 
the Alps with the confederates to fight for the pope, Paris and 
France heard the delivery of those vital truths, out of which the 
Reformation was to spring, and minds fitted to propagate them 

J Biog. UnL, Art Olivetan. Hist du Calvinisme, par Maimbourg, p. 53. 


were receiving them with holy avidity. Hence, Theodore Beza, 
speaking of Lefevre of Etaples, hails him as the individual, " who 
courageously began the revival of the pure religion of Jesus 
Christ;" 1 and he remarks that, u in the same way as the school 
of Isocrates was anciently seen to furnish the best orators, so, 
from the audience of the doctor of Etaples, proceeded several of 
the most distinguished men of their age and of the "Church." 2 

The Reformation in France, therefore, was not a foreign impor 
tation. It had its birth on the French soil; it germinated in 
Paris : it had its first roots in the university itself, which formed 
the second power in Roman Christendom. God placed the princi 
ples of the work in the honest hearts of men of Picardy and Dauph- 
iny, before its commencement in any other country. We have 
seen that the Swiss Reformation was independent of the German 
Reformation. The French Reformation was, in its turn, indepen 
dent of both. The work began at once in these different countries 
without any communication with each other; as in a battle, all the 
different forces composing the army move at the same instant, 
though the one does not tell the other to march, because one ami 
the same command, proceeding from the commander-in-chief, 
is heard by all. The time was accomplished, the people were 
prepared, and God began the renovation of his Church in all quar 
ters at once. Such facts demonstrate that the great revolution of 
the sixteenth century was a Divine work. 

If regard is had only to dates, it must be acknowledged that 
the honour of commencing the work belongs neither to Switzerland 
nor to Germany, although these two countries only have hitherto 
claimed it. The honour truly belongs to France. This is a fact 
which we purpose to establish, because it seems to haye been hi 
therto overlooked. Without dwelling on the influence which Le 
fevre exerted, directly or indirectly, over several individuals, and 
in particular, perhaps over Calvin himself, let us attend to that 
which he had over one of his pupils, over Farel, and to the energe 
tic activity which this servant of God thenceforth displayed. After 
this, how can we resist the conviction, that even though Zuing- 
lius and Luther should never have appeared, there would have 
been a movement of Reform in France ? It is impossible, no 
doubt, to calculate what would have been its extent ; it must even 
be acknowleged that the rumour of what was going on beyond the 
Rhine and the Jura, animated, and at a later period quickened, the 
pace of the French Reformers. Still, they were the first whom the 
blast of the heavenly trumpet in the sixteenth century awoke, and 

1 Et purioris religionis instaurationem fortiter agressus. (Bezse Icones.) 

2 Sic ex Stapulensis auditorio praestantissiini viri plurinii prodierint. (Ibid.) 


they were the first who appeared equipped and arrayed on the 
field of battle. 

Nevertheless, Luther is the great workman of the sixteenth cen 
tury, and, in the most extensive sense, the first Reformer. Lefevre 
is not a complete Reformer, like Calvin, Farel, and Luther. He is of 
Wittemberg and Geneva, but has also a tinge of the Sorbonne : he 
is the first Catholic in the Reform movement, and the last of the 
reformed in the Catholic movement. He remains to the last a 
kind of go-between a somewhat mysterious mediator, designed 
to remind us, that though there is apparently an impassable 
abyss between the old and the new things, there is still a connec 
tion between them. Repulsed and persecuted by Rome, lie is 
still attached to Rome by a feeble thread, which he is unwilling to 
break. Lefevre of Staples has a place of his own in the theology 
of the sixteenth century. He is the link which connects ancient 
with modern times the individual in whom the transition is 
made from the theology of the middle ages to the theology of the 


Character of Francis I Beginning of Modern Times Liberty and Obedience Mar 
garet of Valois The Court Brigonnet, Count ofMontbrun Lefevre applies to the 
Bible Francis I and his " Sons" The Gospel brought to Margaret A Conversion 
Adoration Character of Margaret. 

Tims the whole university was in motion. But the Reforma 
tion in France was not to be merely the work of learned men. It 
was to be established among the grandees of the world, and even at 
the court of the king. 

Young Francis of Angouleme, cousin -german of Louis XII, 
and his son-in-law, had succeeded him. His beauty, his address, 
his bravery, his love of pleasure, made him the first chevalier of 
his time. He aspired, however, to something higher : he wished 
to be a great and even a good king, provided every thing could 
bend to his sovereign will. Valour, love of letters, and gallantry : 
these three words sufficiently express the character of Francis and 
the spirit of his age. At a later period, two other illustrious kings, 
Henry IV, and in particular Louis XIV, presented the same fea 
tures. These princes wanted what the gospel gives ; and although 
the nation has never been without elements of holiness and Chris 
tian elevation, it may be said that these three great monarchs of 
modern France stamped their own character on their subjects, or 



rather, their own character was a faithful representation of the 
character of their subjects. Had the gospel entered France through 
the most illustrious of the Valois, it would have given to the na 
tion what it has not a spiritual tendency, a Christian holiness, 
an understanding in divine things, and would thus have made it 
complete in that which contributes most to the power and great 
ness of kingdoms. 

Under the reign of Francis I, France and Europe passed from 
the middle ages to modern times. The new world, which was in 
embryo when this prince mounted the throne, then greAV up and en 
tered into possession. Two classes of men exercised an influence 
over the new society. On the one hand arose the men of faith, who 
were at the same time the men of wisdom and holiness, and close 
beside them the writers of the court, the friends of worldliness and 
disorder, who, by the licentiousness of their principles, contributed 
as much to the corruption of manners, as the former class did to 
"heir reformation. 

Had not Europe, in the days of Francis I, seen the Reformer 
irise, and had she, by a severe judgment of Providence, been 
given up to infidel innovators, it was all over both with her and 
with Christianity. The danger was great. For some time, these 
two classes of combatants the adversaries of the pope, and of Jesus 
Christ, were confounded together. Both calling for liberty, seemed 
to make use of the same arms against the same enemies. Amid the 
turmoil of the battle-field, an inexperienced eye might have been 
unable to distinguish between them. Had the Reformers allowed 
themselves to be hurried along by the Literati, all was lost. The 
enemies of the hierarchy passed rapidly to the extreme of impiety, 
and were pushing Christian society into a frightful abyss. The 
papacy itself contributed to this dreadful catastrophe, by its ambi 
tion and disorders hastening the destruction of those remains of 
truth and life which had continued in the Church. But God raised 
up the Reformation, and Christianity was saved. The Reformers 
who had cried Liberty ! shortly after shouted Obedience ! The 
very men who had overturned the throne on which the Roman 
pontiff delivered his oracles, prostrated themselves before the word 
of God. The separation was now precise and decisive : even Avar 
was declared between the two divisions of the army. The one had 
wished liberty only for themselves, the other had claimed it for the 
word of God. The Reformation became the most formidable ene 
my of this infidelity, for which Rome often manifests some degree 
of indulgence. The Reformers, after restoring liberty to the 
Church, restored religion to the world. Of the two gifts, the lat 
ter was at this time the more necessary. 


For a time, the friends of infidelity hoped to count among their 
number Margaret of Valois, Duchess of Alencon, whom Francis 
loved exceedingly, always, as Brantome says, calling her his little 
pet. 1 The same tastes and the same talents existed in the brother 
and the sister. Margaret, handsome like Francis, joined the mild 
virtues which captivate to the strong qualities which form great 
characters. In the world, at festivities, at the court of the king, as 
well as at that of the emperor, she shone a.? a queen, charmed, as 
tonished, and conquered all hearts. Passionately fond of litera 
ture, and endowed with rare talents, she retired to her study, and 
there gave herself up to the pleasures of thinking, writing, and 
acquiring knowledge. But her strongest wish was to do good and 
prevent evil. When ambassadors, after being received by the 
king, went to pay thfeir respects to Margaret, * they were," says 
Brant 6 me, " exceedingly delighted, and earned back glowing de 
scriptions of her to their country." 2 

This celebrated princess was always of the strictest morals, but 
while many people placed strictness in word, and freedom in act, 
Margaret did the contrary. Irreproachable in her conduct, she 
was not perfectly so in respect of her writings. In place of being 
surprised at this, perhaps the wonder ought rather to be, that one 
so coiTupt as Louisa of Savoy, had a daughter so pure as Mar 
garet. While journeying over the country in the train of the 
court, she employed herself in depicting the manners of the time, 
and, in particular, the corruption of priests and monks. Bran- 
tome says, " I have heard it told by my grandmother, who always 
travelled with her in her sedan, how she and her maid of honour 
held the writing-desk." 3 Such, according to some, was the origin 
of the Heptameron ; but highly- distinguished modern critics are 
convinced that Margaret was a stranger to this collection, some 
times more than frivolous, and that Desperiers, valet de chambre 
to the queen, was its author. 4 

This Margaret, so beautiful, so talented, and living in the heart 
of a polluted atmosphere, was to be one of the first who was to be 

* Vie des Dames illusfres. (P. 333. Ed. Hagen, 1740.) 2 Ibid., p. 337. 

3 Ibid., p. 346. * This is proved by one of the most distinguished critics of our 

day, M. Ch. Nodier, in the Revue des Deux Mondes, torn, xx, where he says, inter alia 
p. 350, " Desperier is the real and almost pole author of the Heptamerun. I have no 
hesitation in declaring that I have no doubt of this, and that I am entirely of the 
opinion of Bouistuan, who had no other inducement to omit or conceal the name of 
the Queen of Navarre. If, as I think, Margaret composed some of the tales, (the most 
decent, doubtless, of those in the Heptameron,) itmust have been in early life, imme 
diately after her marriage with the Duke d Alencjon (1509). The circumstance men 
tioned by Brantome, that the queen-mother, and Madame of Savoy, "being young," 
wished to " imitate Margaret," is a proof of this. To this testimony we may add 
that of De Thou, who says, " Si tempora et juvenilem cstatem in qua scriptum eet 
respicias non pro-sus damnandum, certe gravitate tantse heroinse et extrema vita 
minus dignum. (Thuan Ti o. 117.) Brantome and De Thou are unexceptiouttblt 


caiTicd along by the religious movement which then began to agitate 
France. But, in the midst of a court so dissolute, and the licen 
tious tales which amused it, how could the Duchess of Alen^on be 
reached by the Reformation? Her elevated soul felt wants which 
the gospel alone could satisfy: grace acts every where, and Chris 
tianity, which even before an apostle had appeared in Rome, had 
adherents in the house of Narcissus and in the court of Nero, 1 
soon penetrated, at its revival, to the court of Francis I. Some 
ladies of the court addressed the princess in the language of faith, 
and the sun which was then rising in France shed some of its 
earliest rays on an illustrious head, by which they were immediately 
reflected on the Duchess of Alencon. 

Among the most distinguished nobles of the court was William dc 
Montbrun, son of Cardinal Bi^onnet of St. Malo, who had entered 
the Church after he became a widower. Count William, who was 
passionately attached to literature, also took orders, and became 
successively bishop of Lodeva and of Meaux. Sent twice to Rome 
as ambassador, he returned to Paris without having been seduced 
by the charms and pomp of Leo X. 

When he returned to France, the movement was universally 
spread. Farel, master of arts, was teaching in the celebrated col 
lege of Cardinal Lemoine, one of the four principal houses of the 
theological faculty of Paris, and equal in rank to the Sorbonne. 
Two countrymen of Lefevre, Arnaud and Gerald Roussel, and 
others besides, enlarged this circle of free and noble spirits. Bri- 
9onnet, who had just quitted the festivities of Rome, was astonished 
at what had taken place in Paris during his absence. Thirsting 
for knowledge, he renewed his old relations with Lefevre, and 
shortly after passed precious hours with the doctor of Sorbonne, 
Farel, the two Roussels, and their, other friends. 2 Full of humility, 
this illustrious prelate was willing to be instructed by the humblest 
individuals, but above all by our Lord himself. " I am in dark 
ness," said he, u waiting for the interposition of divine grace, of 
which I have deprived myself by my demerits." His spirit was, 
as it were, dazzled by the lustre of the gospel. He dared not to 
look up on its unparalleled refulgence. " All eyes united," he 
adds, " are insufficient to receive the light of this sun." 3 

Lefevre had referred the bishop to the Bible; he had shown him, 
as it were, the guiding thread which always conducts to the origi- 

i Rom. xvi, 11 ; Phil, iv, 22. 2 Hist, de la Revocat., de 1 Edit. de Nantes, vol. 

i, p. 7. Maimbourg, Hist, du Calv. p. 12. These words of Bricjonnet are taken 

from the MS. of the Bibliotheque Royale, entitled " Letters of Margaret Queen of Na 
varre, and marked S. F. 337. This MS., which 1 found great difficulty in deciphering 
I wiU repeatedly have occasion to quote. The quotations are given in the language 
Of the time. 


nal truths of Christianity, to which it was antecedent to all 
schools, sects, ordinances, and traditions ; he had shown him the 
powerful means by which the religion of Jesus Christ is renewed. 
Briconnet read the Scriptures. " The sweetness of divine food 
is so great," said he, " that the longing of the mind for it becomes 
insatiable; the more it is tasted, the more it is desired." l The 
simple and mighty truths of salvation filled him with rapture ; he 
found Christ, he found God himself. " What vessel," he exclaimed, 
u is capable of receiving the full amount of inexhaustible sweet 
ness? But the lodging is enlarged according to the desire which 
is felt to receive the good guest. Faith is the chamber which alone 
can lodge him, or to speak more properly, which makes us lodge 
in him." At the same time the good bishop was grieved to see 
this doctrine of life,* which the Keformation was restoring to the 
world, in so little esteem at court, in the city among the people; 
and he exclaimed, " O singular, most worthy, and by my fellows 
little relished innovation ! . . ." 

Thus did evangelical sentiments pave a way for themselves 
amidst the giddy, dissolute, and literary court of Francis I. Several 
individuals who belonged to it, and enjoyed the full confidence of the 
king, as John Du Bellay, Bude, Cop, the court physician, and even 
Petit, the king s confessor, seemed favourable to the sentiments of 
Briconnet and Lefevre. Francis, who was fond of letters, and in 
vited into his domains learned men who were inclined to " Luther- 
anism," and who " expected," says Erasmus, "thus to adorn and 
distinguish his reign more magnificently than he could have done 
by trophies, pyramids, or the most gorgeous buildings," was him 
self influenced by his sister, Briconnet, and the Literati of his court 
and university. He attended the discussions of the learned took 
pleasure in hearing their conversation at table, and called them 
* his sons." He prepared the way for the Word of God, by found 
ing chairs for the study of Hebrew and Greek. Accordingly, 
Theodore Beza, on placing his portrait at the head of those 
of the Reformers, says, " O pious beholder, shudder not at the 
view of his adversary. Must not a share in this honour belong 
to him who, after banishing barbarism from the world, firmly 
fixed in its place three languages and sound literature, to form 
as it were porticos to the new edifice which was soon to be 
raised?" 2 

But at the Court of Francis I, there was an individual in par 
ticular who seemed prepared for the evangelical influence of the 

1 MS. of the Bibliotheque Rcyale, S. E. 337. 

2 Neqtie rex potentissime pudeat .... quasi atrienses hujus sedis ftituras. (Bezaa Disputationibus eorum ipse interfuit. (Flor. Rsemundi, Hist de ortn 
haeresiuiTi,vii,p. 2.) 



doctor of Elaples and the bishop of Meaux. Margaret, undecided 
and wavering in the midst of the dissolute society around her, 
sought support, and found it in the Gospel. Turning towards the 
new truth which was re-animating the world, she enhaled it with 
delight as an emanation from heaven. Some ladies of her court in 
formed her of what was taught by the new teachers. She obtained 
their works and small treatises, called, in the language of the times, 
" Tracts." She heard the expressions " Primitive Church, pure 
Word of God, worship in spirit and in truth, Christian liberty which 
shakes oft superstition and human traditions, and attaches itself to 
none but God." l Shortly after, this princess became personally 
acquainted with Lofevre, Farel, and "Roussel: she was struck with 
everything about them, their zeal, their piety, and their manners, 
but her principal guide in the way of faith was the bishop of 
Meaux. with whom she had long been intimate. 

Thus was accomplished amid the brilliant court of Francis I, and 
the dissolute family of Louisa of Savoy, one of those conversions of 
the heart which, in every age, are produced by the Word of God. 
Margaret afterwards embodied in verse the different movements of 
her soul at this important era in her life. By this means we are 
able to discover some traces of the path which she then traversed. 
We see that she was deeply penetrated with a conviction of sin, 
and that she bewailed the levity with which she had treated the 
scandals of the world. She exclaims^ 

What depth of punishment can possibly suffice 
E en for a tenth part of the guilt which on me lies ? 

This corruption of which she had so long been unconscious, every 
where met her view, now that her eyes were opened. 

Within, well do I feel I have the root ; 

Without are branch, and flower, and leaf, and fruit. a 

Still, amid the alarm which she felt at the state of her soul, sho 
discovered that the God of peace had drawn near to her. 

My God, to me thou hast drawn nigh, 
Although a naked worm am I. 

Erelong the love of God in Christ was shed abroad in her heart. 

* Maimbour^. Ilist. flu Calvin sme. 2 Marguerites de la Marguerite dr* 

ptinceMM. (Lyon, 1.547.) Tom. i, Miroir de 1 Ame Pechere-se, p. 15. The copy 1 hove 
ned apparently betonpod to the Queen of Navarre V erself: some notes in it arp said 
to be hv her own band. It belongs to one of the author s friends. 3 

p. 1H, 19. 


My Father, then, .... but who ? yea the Eternal, 
Always unseen, immutable, immortal, 
Who will fdrgive by grace each sin of mine ; 
Therefore, O Lord, I cast me as a criminal 
Before thy sacred feet, O sweet Emanuel ; 
Have pity then on me, Father divine. 
Thou art the altar, thou the sacrifice 
Thou didst for us what doth indeed suffice, 
Since God declares, tis pleasing in his eyes." 

Margaret had found faith, and her soul became enraptured with 
holy transport, 

" Word divine ! Christ Jesus ! Lord ! 
Only Son of the Eternal God 
The first and last, and all-renewing 
Bishop and* King, in might triumphing, 
From death, by death delivering. 
Man is by faith made son of God, 
And just and pure, kind like his Lord. 
Man is by faith made free from stain ; 
And man by faith in Christ doth reign, 
By faith I Christ possess, all riches gain." 

From this period a great change had been effected in the Duchess 
of Alen^on 

" Myself poor, ignorant, impotent, 
In Christ am rich, wise, and puissant." 

Still the power of evil was not destroyed. She felt in her soul 
a disagreement, a struggle which astonished her 

" Noble in mind, yet nature s slave, 
Offspring of heaven, child of the grave ; 
Throne of God, yet vessel of sin ; 
Immortal, rottenness within, 
Nourished by God, on earth I feed, 
Fleeing bad, yet loving evil deed. 
Reason I love, yet justice shun, 
And till my course on earth is done, 
In strife like this my days must run." 

Margaret, seeking for some natural emblem which might express 
the wants and affections of her soul, took, says Brantome, that of 
the flower of the marigold, " which, by its corolla and leaves, has 
the greatest affinity with the sun, and follows it wherever it 
goes." 5 She added the following device : 

1 Marguerites de la Marguerite des princess. Oraison a J. C., p. 143. 2 Ibid. 

Discord de 1 Esprit et de la Chair, p. 73. Ibid. Miroir de 1 Ame, p. 22. 

* Ibid. Discord de 1 Esprit et de la Chair, p. 71. 5 Vie des Famines Illustres, 

p. 33. 


Non inferiors secutus 

I follow not the things below. 

" To testify," adds the courtly writer, " that she directed all her 
actions, thoughts, wishes, and affections to this great Sun, which 
was God; on this account she was suspected of Luther s re 
ligion." l 

In fact, the princess soon experienced the truth of the words, 
that " All who will live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" 
Margaret s new opinions were spoken of at court, and caused a 
great explosion. What! even the king s sister belong to those 
people ! It might have been thought for some time that it was 
all over with Margaret. She was denounced to Francis I. But 
the king, who was very fond of his sister, affected to think there 
was nothing in it, while Margaret s own character gradually 
weakened opposition. Every one loved her; for, says Brantome, 
" She was very good, mild, gracious, charitable, of easy access, a 
great almsgiver, despising no one, and gaming all hearts by the 
good qualities which she had in her." 2 

Amid the corruption and levity of this age, the mind rests with 
delight on this choice soul which the grace of God could reach 
under all this vanity and worldly grandeur. But her character as 
woman did not allow her to go farther. If Francis I had had the 
convictions of his sister, he would doubtless have earned them fully 
out. The timid heart of the princess trembled before the wrath 
of her king. She was continually agitated between her brother 
and her Saviour, unwilling to sacrifice either the one or the other. 
She cannot be regarded as a Christian who had fully attained to 
the liberty of the children of God, but is a perfect type of those 
superior minds so numerous in all ages, especially among females, 
who, while powerfully drawn towards heaven, are, however, unable 
to disengage themselves entirely from earthly ties. 

Still, as she is, she is one of the remarkable characters of history. 
Neither Germany nor England presents us with a Margaret of Valois. 
The star is, no doubt, somewhat dimmed, but there is a surpassing 
softness in its light, and even at the time of which lam now speak 
ing, this light is easily discerned. It was not till a late period, when 
the angry look of Francis I betokened mortal hatred to the gospel, 
that his sister in alarm put a veil upon her faith. At present she lifts 
her head in the midst of this corrupt court, and appears in it as a 
bride of Jesus Christ. The respect which was paid to her, the high 
opinion entertained of her intellect and her heart, pleaded the cause 
of the gospel before the Court of France better than any preacher 
could have done. This mild female influence gave access to the 

* Vie d.s Fensmes Illustves, p. 33 2 ibid. 


new doctrine. Perhaps to this period may be traced the leaning 
of the French nobility to Protestantism. Had Francis also followed 
his sister had the whole nation been thrown open to Christian 
ity, the conversion of Margaret might have proved the salvation of 
France. But while the nobility received the Gospel, the throne and 
the people still adhered to Rome. It was ultimately a great mis 
fortune to the Refonnation to have had Conde s and Navarres in 
its bosom. 


Enemies of the Reformation Louisa Duprat Concordat at Bologna Opposition 
of the Parliament and the University The Sorbonne Beda His character His 
Tyranny Berquin, the most learned of the nobles The Leaders of the Sorbonne 
Heresy of the three Magdalenes Luther Condemned at Paris The Sorbonne ad 
dresses the King Lefevre quits Paris for Meaux. 

Thus the gospel was already making illustrious conquests is 
France. In Paris, Lefevre, Bi^onnet, Farel, Margaret, joyfully 
yielded to the movement which was beginning to shake the world. 
Francis I himself at this time seemed more attracted by the charms 
of literature, than repulsed by the severity of the gospel. The 
friends of the word of God were cherishing the fondest hopes: 
they were thinking that the heavenly doctrine would circulate with 
out opposition throughout their native land, when a formidable 
opposition was formed at the Sorbonne and the Court. France, 
which was, during three centuries, to signalise herself in the cause 
of Roman Catholicism by her persecutions, rose up with pitiless 
severity against the Reformation. If, in the seventeenth century, 
it was a bloody victory, in the sixteenth it was a fearful struggle. 
Nowhere, perhaps, did the Reformed Christians find more merciless 
foes than on the very spots where they raised the standard of the 
gospel. In Germany, the enemy manifested his rage in other States, 
and in Switzerland he manifested it in other Cantons ; but in France, 
the parties met face to face. A dissolute female, and an avaricious 
minister then stood at the head of a long list of enemies of the Re 
formation. _* ? 

Louisa of Savoy, the mother of the king and of Margaret, noto 
rious for her amours, despotic in her wishes, and surrounded by 
a female Court whose licentiousness was the commencement of a 
long series of immoralities and scandals in the Court of France, 
naturally arrayed herself against the word of God. She was the more 
to be dreaded in consequence of the almost unlimited influence which 
she always possessed over her son. But the gospel found a still more 


formidable adversary in Louisa s favourite, Anthony Duprat,for whom 
she procured the appointment of chancellor of the kingdom. This 
man, whom a contemporary historian calls the most vicious of all 
bipeds, 1 was still more avaricious than Louisa was dissolute. Hav 
ing at first enriched himself at the expense of justice, he after 
wards wished to enrich himself, at the expense of religion, and en 
tered into orders that he might obtain possession of the richest 

Luxury and avarice were thus the characteristics of these two 
personages, who being both devoted to the pope, sought to hide 
the scandals of their life in the blood of heretics. 2 

One of their first acts was to deliver the kingdom to the ecclesi 
astical domination of the pope. The king, after the battle of Marig- 
nan, met with Leo X at Bologna, where was concluded the famous- 
Concordat, in virtue of which, these two princes shared between 
them the spoils of the Church. They deprived Councils of their 
supremacy in order to give it to the pope, and churches of the 
appointment +o bishopricks and benefices to give it to the king. 
Then Francis I, holding up the train of the pontiff s mantle, ap 
peared in the cathedral church of Bologna, to ratify the negotia 
tion. He felt the injustice of the Concordat, and turning to Du- 
prat, whispered in his ear, " There is enough in it to damn us 
both." 8 But what cared he for his salvation? All he wanted was 
money and an alliance with the pope. 

The Parliament offered a vigorous resistance to the Concordat. 
The king caused its deputies to wait for several weeks at Am- 
boise, till one day, as he rose from table, he ordered their attend 
ance, and then said to them, " There is a king in France, and I 
don t understand that a senate exists in it as at Venice." Thus 
saying, he ordered them to depart before sunset. Evangelical liberty 
had nothing to hope from such a prince. Three days after, Tre- 
mouille, the grand chamberlain, appeared in parliament, and ordered 
that the Concordat should be registered. 

The university was now agitated. On the 18th March, 1518, a 
solemn procession, all the students and bachelors attending in 
their gowns, walked to the church of St. Catherine des Ecolicrs, 
to supplicate the Diety for the preservation of the liberties of 
the Church and of the kingdom. 4 " Then were seen colleges 
closed, and scholars in armour walking over the town in large bands, 
threatening, and sometimes maltreating personages of note, while 
engaged, by command of the king, in publishing and executing 
the said Concordat." 5 At last, however, the university tolerated 

1 Bipedum omnium nequissimus. (Belcarias, xv, p. 435.) 2 Bismondi. Hist, 

des Frangais. a Mutthieu, i, p. 16. * Crevier, Y. p. 110. 6 Fontaine 

Hist Cathol. Paris, 1562, p. 16. 

288 , ; . THE SORBONNE. BEDA. 

its execution, but without revoking the enactments by which it had 
declared its opposition, " and thereupon," says Correro, the am 
bassador of Venice, " the king began liberally to distribute bishop- 
ricks on the solicitation of the ladies of the court, and give offices 
to his soldiers; so that a traffic in bishopricks and offices was 
carried on at the court of France, in the same way as at Venice 
a traffic is carried on in pepper and cinnamon." l 

While Louisa and Duprat were preparing to destroy the gospel 
by the destruction of the liberties of the Gallican Church itself, in 
another direction a fanatical and powerful party was formed against 
the Bible. Christian truth has always had two great enemies 
the dissoluteness of the world, and the fanaticism of priests. Schol 
astic Sorbonne and a licentious court were to go hand in hand 
against the confessor* of Jesus Christ. In the early days of the 
Church, infidel Sadducees and hypocritical Pharisees were the 
bitterest enemies of Christianity, and they are so at all times. The 
darkness of the School soon sent forth the most pitiless adver 
saries of the gospel. At their head was Noel Bedier, commonly 
called Beda, a Picard by birth, and syndic of the Sorbonne, who has 
been described as the greatest bawler and the most factious spirit 
of his time. Trained hi the dry sentences of scholastics, having 
grown up among the theses and antitheses of the Sorbonne, vene 
rating every distinction of the School far more than the word of 
God, he was transported with rage against those whose audacious 
mouths dared to utter other doctrines. Of a restless spirit, unable 
to give himself any repose, always longing for new pursuits, he was 
the plague of all who were near him. Trouble was his element ; he 
seemed made to create storms ; when he had no opponents, he at 
tacked his friends. An impetuous quack, he made the town and the 
university echo with ignorant and violent declamations against liter 
ature, against the innovations of the time, and against all who were 
not at his beck eager enough in suppressing them. Several laughed 
when they heard him, but others gave credit to the speeches of 
the blustering orator, while the violence of his character secured 
him a tyrannical ascendancy in the Sorbonne. He behoved ever 
to have some opponent to contend with, some victim to drag to the 
scaffold. Accordingly, he had found heretics before they actually 
existed, and had demanded that Merlin, Vicar-General of Paris, 
should be burnt for having attempted to justify Origen. But when 
he saw the new teachers appear, he bounded like the wild beast 
which suddenly comes upon a prey which it can easily devour. 
tv In our Beda are three thousand monks," said the prudent 
Erasmus. 2 

Raumcr. Gewh. Eump. i, p. 270. 2 In nno Bcdn cunt tria millia monachorum. 
(Eras. En. p. 373.) 


Still his very excesses injured his cause. "What!" said the 
wisest men of the age, "is it on such an Atlas that the Romish 
Church is to repose ? x What causes the fire but the follies of 

In fact, the same blustering oratory which struck terror into the 
feeble-minded, disgusted generous minds. At the court of Francis 
I, was a gentleman of Artois, named Louis Berquin, who was then 
about thirty years of age, and unmarried. The purity of his 
life, 2 his profound knowledge, which procured him the title " of the 
most learned of the nobility," 3 the frankness of his disposition, his 
tender care of the poor, and the unbounded attachment which he 
showed to his friends, distinguished him among his equals. 4 The 
rites of the Church, fasts, feasts, and masses, had not a stricter ob 
server; 5 in particular, he manifested a perfect horror at every 
thing that was called heresy. It was a marvellous thing to see 
so much devotion at the court. 

It seemed impossible that any thing could dispose such a man in 
favour of the Reformation. There were, however, two features in 
his character which were destined to bring him to the gospel. He 
had a thorough disgust at every thing like dissimulation, and as he 
never wished to wrong a single individual, so he could not bear to 
see any body wronged. Hence the tyrnnny of Beda and other 
fanatics, their trickery and persecution, filled him with indigna 
tion ; and, as he did nothing by halves, wherever he went, in the 
city and at the court, " even among the most distinguished of the 
kingdom," 6 he inveighed with the utmost vehemence against the 
tyranny of these doctors, and attacked, " even in their hives," says 
Theodore Beza, " those odious hornets which were at that time the 
terror of the world. 7 

Nor was this enough. Opposition to injustice led Berquin to 
enquire after truth. He felt a desire to know that Holy Scripture, 
so much loved by the men against whom Beda and his partizans 
were raging, and no sooner did he begin to read, than it won his 
heart. Berquin was immediately brought into communication with 
Margaret, Bric.onnet, Lefevre, and all who loved the Word, and from 
converse with them derived the purest enjoyment. He felt that he 
had some other thing to do than to oppose the Sorbonne. He could 
have wished to make all France acquainted with the convictions of 
his own soul. He accordingly began to write and translate intoFrench 

1 Talibus Atlantibus nititur Ecclesia Romana. (Eras. Ep. p.1113.) Such the Atlas 
on whose shoulders the Roman Church is borne? a Ut ne rumuseulus 

quidem impudicitiae sit unquam in ilium exortus. (Ibid., p. 1278.) 3 Gaillard 

Hist, de Francois I er . 4 Mirere benignus in egenos et amicos. (Er. Ep. p. 1238.) 

6 Cor.stitutionum ac rituum ecclesiasticorum observ;mtissimus .... (Ibid.) 
Actes des Martyrs de Crespin, p. 103. 7 Ut maxime omnium tune mettrendos 

erabronesin ipsis eorum cavis .... (Bezse Icones.) 

3 N 


several Christian works. It seemed to him that every one ought 
to acknowledge and embrace the truth as promptly as he himself 
had done. The impetuosity which Beda displayed in the cause of 
human traditions, Berquin displayed in the service of the word of 
.God. Younger than the syndic of Sorbonne, less prudent, less 
able, his strength lay in a noble eagerness for truth They were 
two powerful wrestlers, about to try which could throw down the 
other. But Berquin had something else in view than to give Beda 
a fall. Accordingly Theodore Beza says, " that France would per 
haps have found in Berquin another Luther, could he have found 
in Francis I another Elector." 1 

Numerous obstacles were to trammel his efforts. Fanaticism 
ever meets with followers : it is a fire which increases as it goes. 
The monks and ignorant priests followed in the train of the syndic 
of the Sorbonne. An esprit de corps reigned in this company under 
the direction of "certain intriguers and fanatics who knew adroitly 
how to avail themselves of the nonentity or vanity of their col 
leagues, in order to make them share in their enmities. At each 
sitting these leaders were the only spokesmen, over-awing^ the 
others by their violence, or reducing feeble and moderate men to 
silence. No sooner did they make a proposal than they exclaimed 
with threatening accents, "Now we shall see who they are 
that belong to the faction of Luther." 2 Did any one give utter 
ance to equitable sentiments, Beda, Lecouturier, Duchesne, and 
their whole band, seemed horrified, and exclaimed all at once, 
;t It is worse than Luther." This manoeuvre was successful. The 
timid, who like better to live in peace than to dispute, those who 
jire ready to abandon their own sentiments for their individual 
advantage, those who do not understand the simplest questions, 
those, in fine, who are always driven from their position by clam 
our, were dragged along by Beda and his tribe. Some remained 
mute, others shouted, all gave implicit submission to the power 
which a proud and tyrannical spirit exercises over vulgar souls. 
Such was the condition of this company, which was regarded as so 
venerable, and which was then the most impassioned enemy of 
evangelical Christianity. A glance at the most celebrated bodies 
would often be sufficient to set a just value on the war which 
they wage against truth. 

Thus the university which, under Louis XII, had applauded the 
attempts at independence by Allmain, again plunged all at once 
into fanaticism and servility under Dnprat and Louisa of Saxony. 
If we except the Jansenists, and some other teachers, we nowhere 

1 (rallia fortassis alterum esset Luterum nucta. (Bezze Tcones.) a ffic inquiunS 
mpparebit qui sint Lutheran* factioiiis. (Er. Ep. p. 889.) 


find a true and noble independence in the Galilean clergy. All 
they have done has been to oscillate between servility towards the 
court and servility towards the pope. If, under Louis XII or Louis 
XIV, there Avas some appearance of liberty, it was because their 
master of Paris was then contending with their master of Rome. 
This explains the sudden change to which we have just referred. 
The university aiid the bishops ceased to remember their rights 
and their duties the moment the king ceased to demand it of them. 

Beda had long been irritated against Lefevre. The fame of the 
dcctor of Picardy enraged his fellow-countryman and offended his 
pride. He could have wished to shut Lefevre s mouth. Once already 
had Beda attacked the doctor of Etaples ; and, little skilled as he 
was in discerning evangelical doctrines, he had attacked his col 
league on a point which, strange as it may seem, well nigh brought 
Lefevre to the scaffold. 1 Lefevre had maintained that Mary, the 
sister of Lazarus, Mary Magdalene, and the woman that was a sin 
ner, of whom St. Luke speaks (Luke, xvii), were three different in 
dividuals. The Greek fathers had distinguished between them, but 
the Latin fathers had confounded them. This dreadful heresy of the 
three Magdalenes, set Beda, and all his host, in motion. Christen 
dom was aroused. Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, one of the most 
distinguished prelates of that age, wrote against Lefevre, and the 
whole Church decided against an opinion now received by all 
Roman Catholics. Lefevre, who had been previously condemned 
by the Sorboune, was prosecuted as a heretic by the Parliament, 
when Francis I, who was delighted at the opportunity of striking a 
blow at the Sorbonne and humbling monkery, rescued him from 
the hands of his persecutors. 

Beda, indignant at being deprived of his victim, determined to 
take his measures better next time. Luther s name was beginning 
to make a noise in France. The Reformer, after the Leipsic dis 
cussion with Dr. Eck, had agreed to submit to the decision of the 
universities of Erfurth and Paris. The zeal which the university 
had displayed against the Concordat doubtless made him hope 
that he would find impartial judges in its bosom. But times had 
changed ; and the more decision the faculty had shown against the 
encroachments of Rome, the more it was bent on displaying Rome s 
orthodoxy. Beda thus found it quite inclined to enter into his 

On the 20th January, 1520, the censor of the French nation 
purchased twenty copies of Luther s conference^ with Dr. Eck for 
the purpose of distributing them among the members of the com 
pany who were to report on this affair. More than a year was 

1 Gaillard Hist, de Frangois 1". iv, p. 2 . 8. 


employed in the investigation. The Reformation of Germany was 
beginning to make an immense sensation in France. The universities 
which wei*e then institutions of true catholicity, and which were 
attended by crowds of students from all the countries of Christen 
dom, brought Germany, France, Switzerland, and England into 
closer and readier connection in regard to theology and philoso 
phy, than is the case at the present day. The noise which Luther s 
work had made at Paris, strengthened the hands of the Lefevres, 
Bri9onnets, and Farels. Each of his victories animated them with 
courage. Several of the doctors of Sorbonne were struck with the 
admirable truths which they found in the writings of the monk of 
Wittemberg. Candid confessions were made ; but, at the same 
time, fierce opposition was aroused. "All Europe," says Crevier, 
" were anxiously awaiting the decision of the university of Paris." 
The struggle seemed doubtful ; but, at last, Beda carried the day. 
In April, 1521, the university decided that Luther s works should 
be publicly committed to the flames, and that their author should 
be compelled to recant. 

]STor was this enough. Indeed, the disciples of Luther had crossed 
the Rhine still more rapidly than his writings. " In a short time," 
says the Jesuit Maimbourg, "the university was filled with strangers, 
who, because they knew a little of Hebrew, and a good deal of 
Greek, acquired a reputation, insinuated themselves into the houses 
of persons of quality, and used an insolent liberty in interpreting 
the Bible." l The faculty named a deputation to present its com 
plaints to the king. 

Francis I, caring little for the quarrels of theologians, con 
tinued his round of amusements, and conducting the gentlemen 
and ladies of the court of his mother and sister from chateau to 
chateau, gave himself up to all sorts of dissipation, far away from 
the annoying gaze of the citizens of his capital. He thus travelled 
over Brittany, Anjou, Guienne, Angoumois, and Poitou, claiming 
the same service in villages and forests as if he had been at Paris 
in the Chateau des Tournelles. There were tournays, combats, 
masquerades, sumptuous entertainments, tables covered with 
dainties, "by which," says Brantdme, "those of Lucullus were 
far surpassed." 2 

For a moment, however, he interrupted the round of his pleasures 
to receive the grave deputies of the Sorbonne. But he saw only 
learned men in those whom the faculty denounced to him as here 
tics. Would a prince, who boasted that he had taken the kings of 
France out of leading strings, lower his head before some fanatical 
doctors? "I am not willing," replied he, " that those people be 

1 Histoire dtfCalvinisme, p. 10. 2 Vie des Homines Sllustres. i, p. 326. 


molested. To persecute those who teach, would be to prevent 
men of talent from coming into the kingdom." x 

The deputation retired in a rage. What was to be the result? 
The evil was increasing from day to day ; already men were be 
ginning to call heretical opinions " sentiments of men of genius;" 
the devouring flame was spreading into the most secret recesses. 
The conflagration would blaze, and throughout France the edifice 
of faith would tumble with a crash. 

Beda and his faction, unable to obtain scaffolds from the king, 
had recourse to more hidden persecution. There was no kind of 
annoyance to which the evangelical doctors were not subjected. 
There were constantly new reports and new denunciations. Old 
Lefevre, tormented by these ignorant zealots, sighed for repose. 
The pious Briconnet, who ceased not to express his veneration for 
the doctor of Staples, 2 offered him* an asylum. Lefevre left Paris, 
and repaired to Meaux. This was a first advantage gained over 
the gospel, and it was thenceforth seen that if the faction could not 
succeed in gaining the aid of the civil power^ it had a secret fanati 
cal police, by means of which it could surely attain its end. 


Brigonnet visits his Diocese Reformation The Reformers Prosecuted at Paris 
Philibert of Savoy Correspondence of Margaret and Brigonnet 

Thus Paris began to take part against the Reformation, and 
trace the first lines of that enclosure which was destined for nearly 
three centuries to hedge in the capital from the reformed worship. 
God had been pleased that the first rays of the Reformation should 
appear in Paris, but men immediately exerted themselves in ex- 
Jnguishing them ; the spirit of the Sixteen was already ferment- 
ng in the metropolis, and other towns of the kingdom were about 
vO welcome the light which the capital spurned away. 
Briconnet, on returning to his diocese, had displayed the zeal of 
Christian and a bishop. He had visited all his parishes, and as- 
ibling the deans, curates, vicars, church-wardens, and the prin- 
ipal parishioners, had made himself acquainted with the doctrine 
id lives of the preachers. At the collecting season, he was told, 
Franciscans of Meaux began their course; a single preacher 

Mamihourg, p. 11. 2 p r o inmimrris hrneficiis, pro tantis ad stndia 

lodis. (Kpist. Dedicnt. Ep. Fauli.) tor iunuoiei fable favours, for o great help 



went over several parishes in one day, repeating the same sermon 
at each place, not in order to nourish the souls of his hearers, but 
to fill his belly, his purse, and his convent. 1 The wallet once filled, 
the end was attained, the preachers concluded, and the monks did 
not again appear in the churches till another begging season ar 
rived. The only business of these shepherds is to clip the wool off 
their flocks. 2 

Oil the other hand, the curates, for the greater part, spent their 
incomes at Paris. " Oh!" said the pious bishop on finding a pres 
bytery which he came to visit empty, " are not those traitors who 
thus abandon the warfare of Christ?" 8 Brigonnjet resolved to 
remedy these evils, and convened a meeting of all his clergy on 
13th October, 1519. But these worldly priests, who cared little 
for the remonstrances of their bishop, and for whom Paris had so 
many charms, took advantage of a custom, in virtue of which they 
could present one or more vicars to feed their flocks in their ab 
sence. Out of one hundred and twenty-seven vicars, Briconnet 
found only fifteen whom he approved. 

Worldly curates, imbecile vicars, monks who thought only of 
their belly. Such was the condition of the Church. Bricounet 
denied the use of the pulpit to the Franciscans, 4 and persuaded 
that the only method of filling his bishopric with good ministers, 
was to form them himself, he determined on founding a school 
of theology at Meaux, and placing it under pious and learned 
teachers. It was necessary to find them. They were furnished by 

In fact, this fanatical man and his company gave themselves no 
rest, and complaining bitterly of the toleration of the government, 
declared that they would make war on the new doctrines with it, 
without it, or against it. It was in vain that Lefevre had quitted the 
capital. Did not Farel and his friends remain? Farel, it was true, did 
not mount the pulpit, for he was not a priest, but at the university, 
in the town, with the professors, priests, students, and citizens, he 
boldly maintained the cause of the Keformation. Others animat 
ed by his example, were always becoming more open in spreading 
the word of God. Martial Mazurier, a celebrated preacher and pre 
sident of the college of St. Michael, used no disguise in painting the 
disorders of the times in the darkest yet truest colours, and it seem 
ed impossible to withstand the power of his eloquence. 5 The rage 

1 Ea solum doceri quse ad coenobium iliorum ac ventrem explendum pertinerent. 

(Acta Mart. p. 334.) 2 MS. of Meaux. I am indebted to the kindness of M. 

Ladevze, pastor of Meaux. for the copy of the MS. which is there preserved. 8 Ibid. 
* Eis in universa diocesi sua praedicationem interdixit. (Acta. Mart. p. 334.) 
5 Frequentissimas de reform andis hominum moribus conciones habuit. (Lannoi 

Navarrse Gymnasii Hist. p. 201.) 



of Beda and his theological partisans knew no bounds. " If we 
tolerate these innovators," said he, "they will gain possession of the 
whole body, and it will be all over with our lectures, our traditions, 
our places, and the respect shown to us by France and all Chris 

The theologians of the Sorbonne proved the strongest. Farel, 
Mazurier, Gerard Roussel, and his brother Amaud, soon saw their 
activity every where paralysed. The bishop of Meaux urged his 
friends to come and join Lefevre, and these excellent men hounded 
by the Sorbonne, and hoping that, beside Briconnet, they might bo 
able to form a holy phalanx for the triumph of the truth, accepted 
the invitation of the bishop and repaired to Meaux. 1 Thus the gos 
pel light gradually withdrew from the capital where providence had 
kindled its first rays. TJiis is the condemnation, that light is come in 
to the world, and men have loved the darkness rather than the light, 
because their deeds are evil. 2 It is impossible not to perceive, that 
Paris at this time drew down upon itself the judgment which these 
words of our Saviour express. 

Margaret of Valois deprived successively of Bri9onnet, Lefevre, 
and their friends, felt uneasy when she saw herself alone in the midst 
of Paris, and the licentious court of Francis I. She was on inti 
mate terms with Philibert of Savoy, a young princess, her mother s 
sister. Philibert, whom the king, in order to seal the Concordat, had 
given in marriage to Julian the Magnificent, brother to Leo X, 
had after her marriage gone to Rome, where the Pope, overjoyed at 
the illustrious alliance, had expended a hundred and fifty thousand 
ducats in giving her sumptuous fetes. 3 In 1516, Julian, when in 
command of the army of the Pope, died, leaving his widow at the 
age of eighteen. She became attached to Margaret, who by her 
talents and her virtues had great influence on all around her The 
grief of Philibert opened her heart to the voice of religion. Mar 
garet imparted to her whatever she read, and the widow of the 
lieutenant general of the Church began to relish the soothing doc 
trine of salvation. But Philibert was too inexperienced to support 
her friend Margaret, who often felt humbled in thinking of her great 
weakness. If the love which she bore to the king, and the fear she 
had of displeasing him, led her into some act contrary to her con 
science, she was immediately troubled in her soul, and turning 
again in sadness toward the Lord, e-he found in him, a master, a 
brother, more merciful and more soothing to her heart than Francis 
himself. At such a time she thus addressed her Saviour. 

1 They were obliged to quit Paris by the persecution spised against them at Paris. 
(Vie de Fare!, par Choupani.) 2 Jolin, iii, 1!). s Guichemon. Hist. 

KPH. de Snvoie, ii. p. 180. 


O gentle brother ! who when thou mightest chicle 
Thy erring sister, call st her to thy side ; 
For murmur, injury, and great offence, 
Dost give her grace and love, as recompence. 
Too much, alas ! yea far too much, my brother, 
In me is no desert of such a treasure. 

Margaret, seeing all her friends retiring to Meaux, turned a 
sad look towards them amid the festivities of the Court. Every 
one seemed to abandon her. Her husband, the duke D AlenQon, 
was setting out for the army: her young aunt Philiberte, for Sa 
voy. The duchess turned towards Briconnet, and thus wrote him: 

" Monsieur De Meaux, Knowing that only one is neces 
sary, I address myself to you, praying you to supplicate hea 
ven to guide, agreeably to its holy will, M. D Alei^on, who, 
by command of the king, is setting out as n lieutenant-general of 
the army, which, I fear, will not be disbanded without war. And 
thinking that, independent of the public good of the kingdom, you 
have a good title in whatever touches his salvation and mine, I ask 
your spiritual aid. To-morrow my aunt sets out from Xemours 
for Savoy. I am obliged to occupy myself with many things which 
give me many fears. Wherefore, if you know that master Michael 
could undertake a journey, it would give me a consolation which I 
ask only for the glory of God." 2 

Michael D Arande, whose assistance Margaret requested, was 
one of the members of the evangelical society of Meaux who, at a 
later period, exposed himself to many dangers in preaching the 

The pious princess was alarmed when she saw the formidable op 
position which was rising and increasing against the truth. Duprat 
and the men in power, Beda and those of the Sorbonne, filled her 
with dismay. Bri9onnet, in order to strengthen her, says in his re 
ply, " War is what our gracious Saviour says in the gospel he had 
brought upon the earth ; it was also fire .... great fire, by which 
the terrestrial is transformed into the divine. I desire with all my 
heart to aid you, Madam ; but, from my own nothingness, expect 
no more than the will. Whoso hath faith, hope, and love, has all 
that is necessary, and has no need of aid or assistance . . . God 
Ls all in all, and out of him is nothing to be found. In contending, 
have a stout heart .... and love unspeakable .... The war 
is carried on through love. Jesus demands the heart: unhappy 
the man who is estranged from him. He who fights in person is 
certain of victory. He often falls who fights by others." 8 

1 Miroivdel ame pecheresse. Marguerites de la Marguerite, etc., i, p. 36. 

2 Lettres de Marguerite, "reine de Navarre. (Bibl. Koyale Manuscript, S.F., 337. 
1521.) 3 Ibid., 12th June, 1521. 


The Bishop of Meaux began himself to know what it is to fight 
for the word of God. Theologians and monks, indignant at the 
asylum which he gave to the friends of the Ileformation, violently 
accused him ; so that his brother, the Bishop of St. Malo, came to 
Paris to examine the affairs. 1 Margaret was so much the more 
touched by the consolation which Bi^onnet offered her, and replied 
with an offer of her assistance. 

Writing him, she says, " If in any thing you think I can be of 
service to you or yours, rest assured that any trouble I may take 
will be my comfort. May eternal peace be given you, after those 
long wars which you carry on for the faith, and in which you 
desire to die. 

" Ever your daughter, MARGARET." 2 

It is to be lamented that Bri9onnet did not die in the struggle. 
Nevertheless he was then full of zeal. Philiberte of Nemours, 
respected by all for her sincere devotion, her liberality towards the 
poor, and the great purity of her manners, read with keen and 
increasing interest, the evangelical writings sent her by the Bishop 
of Meaux. " I have all the tracts which you sent me," wrote 
Margaret to Briconnet, u my aunt of Nemours has had her share. 
I will send her the last, for she is in Savoy at the marriage of her 
brother, which is no small loss to me; wherefore, I pray you to 
have pity on me in my solitude." Unhappily, Philiberte did not 
live long enough to declare decidedly in favour of the ^Reformation. 
She died in 1524, at the castle of Virieu le Grand, in Bugey, at the 
age of twenty-six. 3 This was a sad blow to Margaret. Her 
friend, her sister, she who could entirely understand her, was taken 
from her. Perhaps, there was only one other death, that of her 
brother, at which she felt greater agony than now. 

So many tears bedew my eyes, 
They veil my view of earth and skies, 
And like a spring incessant rise. 

Margaret feeling how weak she was in resisting grief and the 
seductions of the court, begged BriQonnet to exhort her to the love 
of God. The bishop replied, " Our mild and gracious Lord, who 
wills, and who alone can do what he powerfully wills, is, in his in 
finite goodness, visiting your heart, exhorting it to love him with 
its own self. No other than he, madam, has power to do so : you 
must not expect light from darkness, nor heat from cold. By at 
tracting he inflames, and by inflaming enlarges the heart, inducing 
it to follow him. Madam, you ask me to have pity upon you be- 

i MS. de Meaux. 2 M S. Bib. Roy., S. F. 227. s Guichemon Hist, de la 

Maison de Savoie, ii, p. 181. * Hymn after the king s death. (Marguerites,! 

p. 473. 


cause you are alone. I do not understand this statement. He 
who lives in the world and has his heart in it remains alone. 
Excess and evil are companions. But she whose heart is asleep 
to the world, and awake to the meek and gracious Jesus, her true 
and faithful husband, is truly alone, living necessarily in Him alone, 
and yet is not alone, because not abandoned by Him who fills and 
keeps all. Pity I cannot and must not have for such solitude, which 
is more to be esteemed than the whole world, from which I am 
assured that the love of God has saved you, so that you are no 
longer its child. Madam, remain alone in Him alone who was 
pleased to suffer a painful and ignominious death and passion. 

"Madam, recommending myself to your good graces, I beg you 
will be pleased no longer to use expressions similar to those in 
your last. Of Gojl alone are you the daughter and spouse; no 
other father must you claim. ... I exhort and admonish you to be 
to him as good a daughter as he is a good Father, .... and though 
you should not be able to attain to this, I beg he would be pleased to 
increase your strength that you may wholly love and serve him." 1 

Noth withstanding of these words, Margaret was not yet cem- 
forted. She bitterly regretted the spiritual guides of whom she 
had been deprived ; the new pastors whom it was sought to impose 
upon her in order to gain her back, had not her confidence, and 
after all that the bishop said she felt herself alone in the midst of 
the court. All around her seemed dark and desert. In a letter to 
Bri9onnet, she says " Just as a sheep in a strange land, wander 
ing unacquainted with its pasture, not knowing the new shepherds, 
naturally raises its head to get a view of the nook where the chief 
shepherd was wont to give it sweet nurture, am I constrained to 
beg your charity. Come down from the high mountain, and, among 
all this people estranged from the light, look in pity on the blindest 
of all the flock. MARGARET." 2 

The Bishop of Meaux, in his answer, continuing the figure of a 
wandering sheep, proceeds to represent the mysteries of salvation 
under the figure of a forest. "The sheep," says he, "going into 
the forest, being led by the Holy Spirit, is forthwith enraptured w : -th 
the richness, beauty, straightness, length, breadth, depth, and 
height, the invigorating and odoriferous fragrance of this forest ; 
and after looking all around, sees only Him in all, and all in Him;* 
and, moving along with rapid step, finds it so pleasant that the jour 
ney is like life, joy, and consolation." 4 The bishop next represents 
the sheep vainly seeking the extremity of the forest (a figure of the 
soul trying to fathom the mysteries of God) falling in with high 

i MS., S.F., 337, Bib. Roy., 10th July. a Ibid All in Christ. * MS- 

R.P., Bib. Roy, 


mountains which it attempts to climb, but everywhere finds 
"infinitude, inaccessible and incomprehensible." Then he shows 
her the path by which the soul in quest of God surmounts these 
difficulties ; he shows her how the sheep in the midst of mercenaries 
finds "the nook of the Great Shepherd." "By means of faith," 
says he, "it begins the flight of contemplation;" everything is 
made smooth, everything is explained, and it begins to sing, " I 
have found him whom my soul loveth." 

Thus spoke the bishop of Meaux. At this time, burning with 
zeal, he wished to see France renewed by the gospel. 1 Often, in 
particular, his mind turned to the three great personages who seemed 
to preside over the destinies of his countrymen. He thought that 
if the royal family was enlightened, the whole people would be so; 
and that the priests, aroused to jealousy, would at length quit their 
death-like state. " Madam," wrote he to Margaret, " I pray God 
most humbly, that he would be pleased by his goodness, to kindle a 
fire in the hearts of the king, madam, and yourself, so that you three 
may burn with a brilliant flame which will enkindle the rest of 
the kingdom, and specially that order by the coldness of which all 
others are frozen." 

Margaret did not share these hopes. She speaks neither of her 
brother nor her mother; it was a subject which she dared not 
touch; but replying to the bishop, in January, 1522, (her heart 
dulled by the indifference and worldliness which surrounded her,) 
she says to him, "The time is so cold, the heart so frozen" and 
she signs "Your frozen, thirsty, and famishing daughter. 


This letter did not discourage Brisonnet, but it made him enter 
into himself, and there feeling how much he who wished to quicken 
others stood in need of being quickened, he commended himself to 
the prayers of Margaret and Madame de Nemours. "Madam," 
wrote he with great simplicity, "I beg you by your prayers to 
awaken a poor slumberer." 2 

Such, in 1521, were the views exchanged at the court of the 
king of France strange views, doubtless, which, after a lapse of 
more than three centuries, a manuscript of the Koyal Library of 
Paris has revealed. Was this influence of the Keformation in so 
high a quarter advantageous to it, or was it hurtful? The arrow of 
truth penetrated to the court, but perhaps only served to awaken 
the slumbering ferocious beast, to stir up its rage, and make it 
pounce with greater fury on the humblest of the flock. 

1 Studio veritati s aliis declarandu? inflammatus. (A ct. Mart., p. 3i) 2 MS. 

Bibl. Ilov.ile. 

3 u 



First beginnings of the Church of Meaux The Scriptures in French The Tradesmen 
and the Bishop Evangelical Harvest The Epistles of St. Paul sent to the Kin? 
Letevre and Roma The Monks before the Bishop The Mouks before the 
Parliament Brigonnet yields. 

In fact, the time was approaching when the storm was to burs* 
on the Reformation. Previously, however, it was to shed some 
additional seeds and reap some grain. This town of Meaux, made 
famous a century and a half afterwards by the sublime defender 
of the Gallican system against the despotic pretensions of Home, 
was destined to betome the first town in France in which a reno 
vated Christianity was to establish its empire. It was at this time 
the field on which the cultivators were bestowing labour and seed, 
and where they were already laying down some sheaves. Bri9onnet, 
less asleep than he said he was, animated, inspected, and directed 
everything. His fortune equalled his zeal ; never did man make 
a nobler use of his wealth, and never did sucli noble devotedness 
seem destined from the outset to bear such excellent fruit. Tran 
sported to Meaux, the pious teachers of Paris thenceforth acted 
with new freedom. There was an emancipation of the Word, and 
the Reformation in France moved rapidly forward. Lefevre for 
cibly expounded that gospel with which he would fain have filled 
the world. "It is necessary," said he, "that kings, princes, no 
bles, people, all nations, think only of Jesus Christ, x and aspire to 
him. Each priest must resemble the angel that St. John saw in 
the Apocalypse, flying through the midst of heaven, holding in his 
hand the eternal gospel, and carrying it to every people, tongue, 
and kindred, and nation. Come pontiff, come kings, come gener 
ous hearts Nations awaken to the light of the gospel, and 

breathe life eternal ? 2 The word of God is sufficient." 3 

Such, in fact, was the motto of this school, " The Word of God 
is sufficient" The whole Reformation is comprehended in this 
sentence. "To know Christ and his word," said Lefevre, Rous- 
sel, Farel, " is the alone living, the alone universal theology. He 
who knows this, knows all." 4 

The truth produced a deep impression in Meaux. First separate 
meetings were held, next conferences, and at last the gospel was 

1 Reges, principes, magnates omnes et subinde omnium nationum populi, ut nihil 

aliud cogitent ac Christum (Fabri. Comment, in Erang. Prrefut.) 

3 Ubivia gentium expergiscirnini ad Evangelii lucem (Fabri. Comment, in 

Evang. Praefat.) 3 Verbum Dei Sufficit. (Ibid.) *Hsec est universa et sola 

vivifiea Theologia Christum et verbum ejes csse onmia. (Ibid, in Ev. Johan., 

p. 271.) 


preached in the churches. Bat a new exertion which was made 
gave a still more formidable blow to Rome. 

Lefevre wished to enable the Christians of France to read the 
Holy Scriptures. On the 30th October, 1522, he published the 
French translation of the four Gospels ; and on the 6th November, 
that of the other books of the New Testament. On the 12th 
October, Collin, at Meaux, published a volume containing the 
whole of the books thus translated ; and in 1525, a French version 
of the Psalms. 1 Thus began in France almost at the same time 
as in Germany, the preaching and dissemination of the Scriptures 
in the vulgar tongue a procedure which was three centuries 
afterwards to be carried to so great an extent over the whole world. 
In France, as on the other side of the Rhine, the Bible had a de 
cisive influence. Experience had taught many Frenchmen that 
when they sought to know divine things, doubt and obscurity ap 
peared on every side. How many moments, and perhaps years, in 
their lives, during which they have been tempted to regard the 
most certain truths as illusions ! We must have light from above 
to illumine our darkness ! Such was the sigh of many souls at the 
period of the Reformation. With such desires, many received the 
sacred books from the hands of Lefevre. They were read in fami 
lies and in the closet; and conversations on the Bible became fre 
quent; Christ appeared to their long bewildered spirits as the sun 
and centre of all revelations. There was no more need of demon 
strations to prove to them that the Scriptures were from the Lord. 
This they knew, for it had transformed them from darkness to light. 

Such was the progress by which distinguished individuals in 
France arrived at the knowledge of God. But there were other 
methods more simple, and if the thing be possible, more vulgar, by 
which many of the people attained to the truth. The population 
of Meaux consisted almost entirely of mechanics and people trading 
in wool. "In many," says a chronicler of the sixteenth century, 
" was engendered so ardent a desire to know the way of salvation, 
that artisans, carders, spinners, and combers, employed themselves 
while engaged in manual labour, in conversing on the word of God, 
and deriving comfort from it. In particular, Sundays and festivals 
were employed in reading the Scriptures and enquiring after the 
good- will of the Lord." * 

Briconnet was delighted at seeing piety thus substituted for su 
perstition in his diocese. " Lefevre, aided by the reputation of his 
rcat learning," says a contemporary historian, 3 "was able by his 
)lausible discourse so to cajole and circumvent master William Bri- 

1 Le Lonp. Hibliuth. sncree, 2.1 Edit., p. 42. * Actt des Mart, p. 1&1. * Hist 

Uh. ilc Temps, par Fontaine, de 1 Odrts de St. Francois. Paris, 15H2. 


Bonnet as to have him entirely devoted to him, so much so that it 
has never since been possible to purge the town and diocese of 
Meaux of this mischievous doctrine, even to this day, when it has 
marvellously increased. It is a great pity that this good bishop, 
who, till then, had been so devoted to God and the Virgin Mary, 
should have been so perverted." 

Still all were not so entirely devoted as the Franciscan whom 
we have just quoted, represents. The town was divided into 
two parties. On the one side were the monks of St. Francis and 
the friends of the Romish doctrine ; on the other, Briconnet, Le- 
fevre, Farel, and all who loved the new doctrine. An individual 
in ordinary life, named Leclerc, was one of the most servile ad 
herents of the monks ; but his wife and two sons, Peter and John, 
had eagerly received the gospel. John, who was a carder of wool, 
soon distinguished himself among the new Christians. James Pa- 
vanne, a young scholar of Picardy, u a man of great sincerity," 
whom Bi^onnet had attracted to Meaux, showed great zeal for 
the Reformation. Meaux had become a focus of light. Persons 
who had occasion to visit it often heard the gospel and brought 
it back to their homes. The Holy Scriptures were searched, not 
in the town only, but also, says a chronicler, " several of the vil 
lagers did likewise, so that that diocese began to exhibit an image 
of the renovated Church." 

The environs of Meaux being covered with rich crops at the sea 
son of harvest, great numbers of labourers flocked to it from the 
surrounding countries. When reposing at noon from their fatigues, 
they conversed with the inhabitants of the district, who spoke to 
them of other crops and other harvests. Several peasants from 
Thierache, and especially from Landouzy, after they returned 
home persevered in the doctrine which they had heard, and shortly 
after there was formed in that place an evangelical church, which 
is one of the oldest in the kingdom. 1 " The fame of this great boon 
circulated over France," says the chronicler. 2 Bri9onnet himself 
preached the gospel from the pulpit, and endeavoured everywhere 
to disseminate what he calls " that infinite, sweet, cheerful, true, 
and only light, which dazzles and illumines every creature who 
receives it, and which, in illuminating, dignifies him with the filial 
adoption of God." 3 He prayed his flock not to lend an ear to those 
who wished to turn them aside from the word. "Even," said 
he, " should an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto 
you, do not listen to him." Sometimes he was seized with melan- 

1 These facts are taken from old papers, much defaced, found in the church of 
Landouzy-la-Ville (Aisrie), per M. Colany, when he was pastor there. a Actes 

des Mart, p. 182. MS., UibL Eoyale, S.F., No. 337. 


eholy thoughts. He was not sure of himself. He recoiled in dis 
may when thinking of the fatal effects which might result from 
his unfaithfulness, and, forewarning his people, said to them 
" Should even I, your bishop, change my discourse and doctrine, 
do you beware of changing with me." l At the time nothing gave 
intimation of such a disaster. " Not only was the word of God 
preached," says the chronicler, "it was practised; all works of 
charity and love were practised, manners were reformed, and su 
perstitions brought into disrepute." 2 

Always full of the idea of gaining the king and his mother, the 
bishop sent to Margaret " the Epistles of St. Paul, translated and 
magnificently illuminated," begging her very humbly to present it 
to the king ; " This from your hands," added he, " cannot but be 
agreeable. It is a royal dish," continued the good bishop, " nour 
ishing without corrupting, and curing all diseases. The more we 
taste it, the more we hunger for it, with uncloying and insatiable 
appetite." 3 

What dearer message could Margaret receive ? . . . . She 
thought the moment favourable. Michael d Arande was at Paris, 
detained by command of the queen mother, for whom he was trans 
lating portions of the Holy Scriptures. 4 But Margaret would have 
wished Bi^onnet himself to present St. Paul to her brother, and 
wrote to him, " You would do well to come here, for you know the 
confidence which the king and she place in you." 5 

Thus the word of God was at this time (1522, 1523) placed 
under the eyes of Francis I, and Louisa of Savoy. They were 
brought into contact with that gospel which they were at a later 
period to persecute. It does not appear that the Word made 
any salutary impression upon them. The Bible was then making 
much noise, and a feeling of curiosity made them open it ; but it 
was no sooner opened than shut. 

Margaret herself had difficulty in struggling with the worldliness 
which surrounded her on every side. Her affection for her brother, 
the obedience which she owed to her mother, and the flattery which 
she received at court, all seemed to conspire against the love which 
she had vowed to Jesus Christ. Christ was single against a 
number. The soul of Margaret, assailed by so many foes, and 
stunned by the noise of the world, sometimes turned aside from 
its Lord. Then recognising her fault, the princess shut herself up 
in her chamber, and giving herself up to grief, sent forth sounds 

3 Hist. Catliol. de Fontaine. 2 Actes des Martyrs, p. 182. - MR. of the 

Bibliothequc Royale, S. F., No. 337. * Par le commandment de Madame a guy 

il a 1 yvre quelqne chose de la saincte Esrripture qu elle desire parfaire. (Ibid ) By 
command of Madame, to whom lie has delivered some portion of the Holy Scrip 
tures, which she is dosirotis to peruse. 5 Ibid. 



very different from those jovial strains with which Francis and the 
young nobility associated in his debaucheries and festivities, caused 
the palace to resound. 

Left you I have my pleasure to follow ; 
Left you I have for a choice most hollow ; 
Left you I have but ah ! whither to go ? 
Away where nought is but cursing and woe. 
Left you I have a friend constant and true, 
And then, to conceal your love from my view, 
Have leagued with all that is hostile to you. 

Then Margaret, turning towards Meaux, wrote in her anguish, " I 
return to you, to M. Fabry, (Lefevre) and all your band, begging 
you to obtain from ineffable mercy by your prayers, an awakening 
for a poor drooping slumbering creature .... from her deep and 
deadly lethargy." 2 

Thus Meaux had become a focus of light. The friends of the 
Reformation gave themselves up to flattering illusions. Who 
could oppose the gospel if the power of Francis I paved the way 
for it? The corrupting influence of the court would then be changed 
into a holy influence, and France acquire a moral force which would 
make her the benefactress of the nations. 

/ On the other hand the friends of Rome became alarmed. Among 
the most distinguished of those at Meaux was a Jacobin monk 
named De Roma. One day when Lefevre, Farel, and their friends 
were conversing with him and some other adherents of the papacy, 
Lefevre could not refrain from expressing his hopes. " The gos 
pel," said he, "is already gaining the hearts of the grandees and 
people, and soon diffusing itself over all France, it will every where 
bring down the inventions of men." The old doctor had become 
animated, his eyes which had become dim sparkled, his trembling 
voice was again full toned. One would have said it was old 
Simeon thanking the Lord for having seen his salvation. The 
friends of Lefevre shared his emotion, and his opponents were dumb 
with astonishment. ... All at once De Roma started up, and with 
the voice of a tribune of the people, exclaimed, " Then I and all 
the other monks will preach a crusade : we will stir up the people ; 
and if the king permits the preaching of your gospel, we will make 
his own subjects chase him from his own kingdom." 3 

Thus a monk dared to enter the lists with a royal knight. The 
Franciscans applauded the words. The future predicted by the 
old doctor must not be allowed to be realised. Already the friars 
are day after day returning with diminished alms. The alarmed 

* Les Marguerites, i, p. 40. = MS. in the Biblio. Royale, S. F., No. 337. 

* Farel. Epitre au Due de Lorraine. Gen. 1634. 


Franciscans spreading themselves among families, exclaimed 
"These new teachers are heretics; the holiest observances they 
attack, the most sacred mysteries they deny! . . . ." Then 
becoming more emboldened, the most irritated of them come 
forth from their cloisters, repair to the episcopal palace, and being 
admitted to the presence of the prelate, exclaim, " Crush this 
heresy, or the plague which already devastates this town of 
Meaux will soon spread over the kingdom." 

Bri9onnet was concerned, and for a moment at a loss how to deal 
with this attack; but he yielded not; he had too much contempt 
for these coarse monks and their selfish clamour. He mounted 
the pulpit, justified Lefevre, and called the monks Pharisees and 
hypocrites. Still this opposition produced trouble and an in 
ternal struggle in his soul ; he tried to reassure himself by re 
flecting that these spiritual combats were necessary. " By this 
battle," said he, in his somewhat mystical language, " we reach a 
death, quickening and, at the same time, mortifying life; in living, 
we die, in dying, we live." * The path would have been safer, if 
hastening towards the Saviour, like the apostles, when tossed by the 
winds and waves, he had exclaimed, "Master, save us, we 

The monks of Meaux, furious at being repulsed by the bishop, 
resolved to cany their complaints to a higher quarter. They had 
a power of appeal. If the bishop will not yield, they can compel 
him. Their leaders set out for Paris, and came to an under 
standing with Beda and Duchesne. They hastened to the Parlia 
ment, and there denounced the bishop and the heretical teachers. 
" The town," said they, " and the whole neighbourhood are 
affected with heresy, and it is the episcopal palace itself that sends 
forth the polluted streams." 

Thus, the cry of persecution against the gospel began to be 
heard in France. The priestly and the civil power, the Sorbonne 
and the Parliament, took up arms, arms that were to be dyed in 
blood. Christianity had taught that there are duties and rights 
anterior to all civil associations, had emancipated religious 
thought, founded liberty of conscience, and produced a great 
revolution in society; for antiquity, which saw the citizen even* 
where, and man nowhere, had made religion simply an affair of 
state. But no sooner had these ideas been given to the world 
than the papacy had corrupted them. For the despotism of the 
prince, it had substituted the despotism of the priest. It had 
often even stirred up the prince and the priest against the Christian 
people. A new emancipation was required, and it took place in 

MS., BibL Royale, S. F., No. 337. 


the sixteenth century. In all places where the Reformation was 
established, it broke the yoke of Home, and religious thought was 
again set free. But there is in human nature such a love of do 
mineering over the truth, that among many Protestant nations the 
Church disengaged from the arbitrary power of the priest, is in 
our days on the point of again falling under the yoke of the civil 
power, and doomed, like its ruler, to vibrate incessantly between 
these two despotisms, to pass ever and anon from Caiaphas to 
Pilate, and Pilate to Caiaphas. 

Briconnet, who was held in high estimation at Paris, easily jus 
tified himself. But it was in vain he sought to defend his friends. 
The monks were not willing to return to Meaux empty handed. 
If the bishop is to escape, his brethren must be sacrificed. Of a 
timid character, not much disposed to abandon his riches and his 
rank for Jesus Christ, already alarmed and filled with sadness, 
false counsels led him still further astray. It was suggested to him 
that, if the evangelical doctors quitted Meaux, they could carry the 
Reformation elsewhere. An agonising struggle took place in his 
heart. At length worldly prudence prevailed ; he yielded, and on 
the 12th April, 1526, issued an injunction, depriving these pious 
teachers of liberty to preach; This was Bi^onnet s first fall. 

Lefevre was the person principally aimed at. His commentary 
on the four Gospels, and especially his "epistle to Christian 
readers," which preceded it, had increased the rage of Beda and his 
band. They denounced the work to the faculty. "Does he not 
presume," said the blustering syndic, "to recommend the reading of 
the Holy Scriptures to all the faithful? Do we not read in it that 
whoso loves not the word of Christ is not a Christian ; l and that 
the word of God is sufficient for eternal life? " 

In this accusation Francis I saw only a cabal of theologians. 
He named a commission, and Lefevre, having justified himself be 
fore it, came off from the attack with the honours of war. 

Farel, who had fewer protectors at Court, was obliged to quit 
Meaux. It appears that he at first repaired to Paris, 2 and that 
having attacked the errors of Rome without reserve, he could no 
longer remain, but was obliged to retire into Dauphiny, whither 
his heart was bent on carrying the gospel. 

1 Qui verbum ejus hoc modo non diligunt, quo pacto hi Christian! essent. (Prsef. 
Conim. in Evang.) How can those who do not love his word in this way bo CVms- 
tiiins ? a Farel, after living as Jong as he could at Paris." (Bezae Hist, 

Ewl, i,6.> 


CHAP vm. 

Lefevre and Farel Persecuted Difference between the Lutheran and Reformed 
Churches Leclerc puts up his Pancartes Leclerc Branded Zeal of Berquin 
Berquin before the Parliament Francis I saves him Apostacy of Mazurier 
Fall and Grief of Pavanne Metz Chatelain Peter Toussaint becomes attentive 
Leclerc breaks Images Condemnation and Torture of Leclerc Martyrdom of 
Chatelain Flight. 

Lefevre intimidated, Bri9onnet beginning to backslids, Farel 
constrained to flee! this was a first victoiy. The Sorboime 
already thought themselves masters of the movement. The doctors 
and monks were congratulating themselves on their triumph. This 
however, was not enough : blood had not flowed. They accord 
ingly set to work, and blood since blood it must have was soon 
to gratify the fanaticism of Rome. 

The evangelical Christians of Meaux, seeing their leaders dis 
persed, sought mutually to edify each other. John Leclerc, a 
carder of wool, whom the discourses of the teachers, the reading of 
the Bible and of several religious books, had instructed in Christian 
doctrine, 1 was distinguished by his zeal and his readiness in ex 
pounding Scripture. He was one of those men whom the Spirit of 
God 2 fills with courage, and soon places at the head of a religious 
movement. The church of Meaux was not long in regarding him 
as its pastor. 

The idea of an universal priesthood, an idea to which the first 
Christians were so much alive, had been restored in the sixteenth 
century, by Luther. 3 But this idea seemed then to remain theore 
tical in the Lutheran church, and became a living reality only in 
the Reformed churches. The Lutheran churches (and in this they 
agree with the Anglican church) seemed to hold a middle place be 
tween the Church of Rome and the Reformed Church. Among 
the Lutherans everything proceeded from the pastor or the priest, 
and nothing was good in the church that did not come organically 
through its heads. But the Reformed Churches, while holding the 
divine institution of the ministry, which some sects overlook, 
approximated nearer to the primitive condition of the apostolic 
communities. From the period of which we speak, they recognised 
and proclaimed, that Christian flocks were not simply to receive 
what the priest gives; that the members of the church, as well as 

1 Alii* pauculis libellis diligenter IrctK (Eeza Icones.) Having carefully read 
some other f^hort treatises. 2 Aniinosie flclci pk iius. (Ibid..) Fall of ardeui 

fa it 1 1. s Volume second. 


its leaders, possess the key of the treasury from which these 
draw their instructions, since the Bible is in the hands of all ; that 
the grace of God, the spirit of faith, wisdom, consolation, and light, 
are not given to the pastor merely ; that each is called to use the 
gift which he has received, for the common advantage ; that often 
even a certain gift necessary for the edification of the church may 
be refused to the minister and granted to a member of his flock. 
Thus the passive state of the churches was exchanged for a 
state of general activity. It was in France especially that this 
revolution was accomplished. In other countries the Reformers 
are almost without exception pastors and doctors. But in Franco 
the men of learning are in close union with the men of the people. 
There God takes for his first workmen a doctor of the Sorboune and 
a carder of wool. 

Carder Leclerc now began to go from house to house confirm 
ing the disciples. But not stopping at these ordinary labours, he 
wished to see the edifice of the papacy crumbling to pieces, and 
France, from amid its ruins, turning with a shout of joy towards 
the gospel. His somewhat immoderate zeal reminds us of that of 
Hottinger at Zurich, and Carlstadt at Wittemberg. He accord 
ingly drew up a proclamation against the Antichrist of Rome, in 
which he announced that the Lord was about to destroy it by the 
breath of his mouth. Then he boldly posted up his " Pancartes" 
on the very gate of the cathedral. 1 Forthwith all was confusion 
around the ancient edifice. The faithful were astonished, the 
priests enraged. What ! a man employed in carding wool to attack 
the pope? .... The Franciscans were beside themselves, and 
demanded that this once, at least, a dreadful example should be 
made. Leclerc was thrown into prison. 

His trial was concluded in a few days, under the very eyes of 
Bri9onnet, who was obliged to see and endure it all. The car 
der was condemned to be beaten with rods three days in succes 
sion through the streets of the town, and then branded on the fore 
head. Shortly after, this sad spectacle was exhibited. Leclerc, 
with his hands tied and back bare, was led through the streets, 
and the executioners let fall upon his body those blows which he 
had brought upon himself by attacking the bishop of Eome. An 
immense crowd followed the procession, the course of which might 
have been traced by the blood of the martyr. Some uttered cries 
of rage against the heretic; others, by their silence even, gave him 
unequivocal marks of their tender compassion; a female with eye 
and tongue encouraged the poor sufferer. It was his mother. 

i Th s heretic wrote Pancartes, xvliich he posted up on the doors of the great church 
of Mviaux (MS. of Meaux.) See also Bezse It-ones, Crespin, Actes des Martjrs,etc. 



At length, on the third day, after the bloody procession was 
finished, Leclerc was taken to the ordinary place of execution. 
The executioner prepared the fire, heated the iron, the impress of 
which was to be burnt into the evangelist, and approaching him, 
branded him in the forehead as a heretic. A cry was heard, 
but it proceeded not from the martyr. His mother, who was pre 
sent at the frightful spectacle, torn with grief, had a violent 
struggle within herself. The enthusiasm of faith was struggling 
in her heart with the love of the mother, and she exclaimed in a 
voice which made all her adversaries tremble, "Live Jesus Christ 
and his ministers." 1 Thus this Frenchwoman of the sixteenth 
century fulfilled the command of the Son of God "He who loves 
son more than me is not worthy of me." Such boldness at such 
a moment deserved exemplary punishment; but the Christian 
mother had filled the priests and soldiers with amazement. All 
their fury was restrained by an arm more powerful than their own. 
The crowd giving way with respect, allowed the mother of the 
martyr, with lingering pace, to regain her humble dwelling, Even 
the monks and town-officers stood motionless as she passed. 
"Not one of her enemies," says Beza, "dared to lay a hand upon 
her." Leclerc having been released, retired to Rosay in Brie, a 
small town, six leagues from Meaux, and afterwards repaired to 
Metz, where we shall again meet with him. 

The enemy triumphed. "The cordeliers having reconquered 
the pulpit, scattered about their lies and silly tales as usual." 2 
But the poor mechanics of the town, deprived of the hearing of the 
Word at regular meetings, " began to assemble in secret," says our 
chronicler, " after the example of the sons of the prophets, in the 
time of Ahab, and the Christians of the primitive church; and 
according as opportunity offered, met one day in a house, and 
another day in some cave, or occasionally, also, in a vineyard or 
forest. Then he of their number who was best read in the Holy 
Scriptures, exhorted them. This done, they prayed together with 
great courage, supporting themselves with the hope that the gospel 
would be received in France, and that the tyranny of Antichrist 
would come to an end." 3 No power is capable of arresting the 

Still one victim was not sufficient. The first victim of persecu 
tion was a worker in wool; the second was a gentleman of the 
court. It was necessaiy to strike terror into the nobles as well as 
the people. The doctors of the Sorbonne at Paris were not the 
persons to allow themselves to be outstripped by the Franciscans 

1 Beze Hist.Eccl., p. 4. Crespin Hist des Martyrs, p. 92. a Actes des Martyrs, 

p. 183. 3 ibid. 



of Meanx. Berquin, "the most learned of the nobles," had con 
tinued to gain new courage from the Scriptures, and after attacking 
* the hornets of the Sorbonne" in some epigrams, had openly 
accused them of impiety. 1 

Beda and Duchesne, who had not ventured to reply in their 
usual style to the witty sallies of a gentleman of the king, changed 
their view of the matter as soon as they discovered that these 
attacks were backed by serious convictions. Berquin had become 
a Christian, and his destruction was resolved. Beda and Duchesne, 
having seized some of his translations, found matter in them suffi 
cient to burn more than one heretic. "He maintains," said they, 
"that it is unbecoming to invoke the Virgin in place of the Holy 
Spirit, and to call her the source of all grace. 2 He attacks the 
custom of calling her our hope, our life, and says that these titles are 
applicable onty to the Son of God." There was more than this. 
Berquin s study was like a bookseller s shop, from which corrupting 
books were circulated all over the kingdom. In particular, the 
Common Places of Melaucthon, written with so much elegance, 
made a deep impression on the literati of France. The pious 
gentleman living only amid folio volumes and tracts, had from 
Christian charity, became a translator, corrector, printer, and 
bookseller It was necessary to arrest this formidable tor 
rent at its very source. 

Accordingly one day when Berquin was quietly at his studies in 
the midst of his beloved books, his house was suddenly surrounded 
by armed police, who knocked violently at the gate. It was the 
Sorbonne and its agents, who, fortified with the authority of the 
Parliament, came to pay him a domiciliary visit. Beda, the formi 
dable syndic, was at their head, and never did inquisitor better 
fulfil his duty: he made his way with his satellites into the 
library of Berquin, declared the mission with which he said he 
was entrusted, and ordering his people to have an eye upon Berquin, 
commenced his search. Not a book escaped his piercing glance; 
and by his orders an exact inventory of the whole was taken. 
Here a treatise of Melancthon, there a writing of Carlstadt! Here 
heretical books translated from Latin into French by Berquin, 
there others of his own composition. All the works which Beda 
seized with the exception of two, were filled with Lutheran errors. 
He left the house with his booty, more elated than ever general 
was with the spoils of conquered nations. 8 Berquin saw that a 
violent storm was about to burst upon his head, but his courage 

1 Impietatis etiam accusatos, turn voce turn scriptis. (Bezse Iconcs.) He had 
accused them of impiety, both verbally and in writing. 2 Joconp-ue beatam 

Virginem invocari pro Spiritu Sancto. (Erasmi Ep. 1279.) 3 GaillarU IlisU tie 

Frangois I, iv, 241. Crevier, Univ. de Paris, v, p. 171. 


failed not. He despised his adversaries too much to fear them. 
Meanwhile Beda lost no time. On the 13th May, 1523, the Par 
liament issued a decree, bearing that all the books seized at the 
house of Berquin should be submitted to the Theological Faculty. 
The opinion of the company was not long delayed. On the 25th 
June they condemned the works to the fire as heretical, with the 
exception of the two which we have mentioned, and ordered Ber 
quin to abjure his errors. The Parliament sanctioned the decision. 

The gentleman appeared before this formidable body. He knew 
that a scaffold was probably behind ; but like Luther at Worms he 
stood firm. In vain did the Parliament order him to recant. 
Berquin was not one of those who fall away " after being " made 
partakers of the Holy Ghost." 11 " He who is begotten of God keepeth 
himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." 1 Every fall proves 
that the conversion was only apparent or partial. The conversion 
of Berqnin was real. He answered firmly to the court before 
which he appeared. The Parliament, more severe than the Diet 
of Worms had been, ordered its officers to apprehend the accused 
and carry him to the Conciergerie. This was on the 1st August, 
1523. On the 5th August the Parliament remitted the heretic 
into the hands of the bishop of Paris, in order that this prelate 
might take cognisance of the affair, and assisted by doctors and 
counsellors, pronounce due sentence on the culprit. He was trans 
ferred to the prison of the officiality. 2 

Thus Berquin passed from tribunal to tribunal, from prison to 
prison. Beda, Duchesne, and their company kept hold of their 
victim: but the court had always a grudge at the Sorbonne, and 
Francis was more powerful than Beda. There was a feeling of 
indignation among the nobility. Did these monks and priests 
forget what the sword of a gentleman was worth ? " Of what is 
he accused? " said they to Francis. " For blaming the custom of in 
voking the Holy Spirit. But Erasmus and many others also blame 
this. And for such trifles must an officer of the king be put in 
prison? 3 The blow is aimed at letters, true religion, the nobility, 
chivalry, the very crown." The king was pleased once more to 
provoke an outcry from all the company. He gave letters of liber 
ation to the council, and on the 8th August an officer presented 
himself at the prison of the officiality bearing an order from the 
king to set Berquin at liberty. 

It was a question whether the monks would yield. Francis 
who had foreseen that some difficulty might be made, had said to 

1 Hebrews, yi,4 ; 1 John, v, 18. 2 Ductus est in carceremj reus ha?reseos 


the officer entrusted with his orders, " If you meet with resistance, 
I tauthorise you to break open the door." These words were clear. 
The monks and the Sorbonne yielded, swallowing the affront; and 
Berquin, set at liberty, appeared before the king s council, and was 
acquitted. 1 Thus Francis had humbled the church. Berquin ima 
gined that under his reign France might be emancipated from 
the papacy, and had thoughts of renewing the war. With this 
view he entered into correspondence with Erasmus, who immedi 
ately recognised in him a good man. 2 But u remember," said 
the philosopher, who was always timid and temporising, " that it 
is unnecessary to provoke the hornets ; peacefully enjoy your stu 
dies. 3 Above all, do iy>t mix me up with your affair; that would 
not be useful either to me or to you." 4 

This refusal did not discourage Berquin : if the most powerful 
genius of the age withdraws, he will trust in God, who never fails. 
The work of God is to be done with men or without them. " Ber 
quin," says Erasmus himself, " was somewhat like the palm tree : 
he stood up and showed a bold front to whosoever sought to terrify 
him." 5 

This was not the case with all who had received the gospel 
doctrine. Martial Mazurier had been one of the most zealous 
preachers. He was charged with having preached very erroneous 
doctrines, 6 and even with having committed certain acts of violence, 
while he was at Meaux." " This Martial Mazurier, being at Meaux," 
says a manuscript of this town, which we have already quoted, 
" going to the church of the reverend fathers, the Cordeliers, and 
seeing the statue of St. Francis standing at the outside of the door 
of the convent, where at present a St. Roche is placed, threw it 
down and broke it." Mazurier was seized, and sent to prison, 7 
when he suddenly fell into profound reveries, and deep anguish. It 
was the morality rather than the doctrine of the gospel, that had 
drawn him into the ranks of the Reformers, and morality left him 
without strength. Terrified at the scaffold which awaited him, 
thinking that in France the victory would be decidedly in favour 
of the Romish party, he easily convinced himself that he should 
gain more influence and honour by returning to the papacy. He 
therefore recanted, and caused doctrines to be preached in his 
parish the opposite of those which he was accused of having 
taught : 8 at a later period connecting himself with the most fanati- 

i At juclices, ubi viderunt causam esse nullms moment!, absolvcrunt hominem. 
(Er. Ep. 1279.) But the Judges seeing that the case was of no moment, acquiiteri 
him. 2 x epistola visus est mihi vir (Ibid.) 3 Sineret crabru- 

nes et suis se studiis oblectaret (Ibid.) * Deinde ne me involveret suse causa*. 

(Tbid. 6 Ille, ut babebat quiddam cum palma commune, adversus deterrentem 

tollebat animos. Probably an allusion to Pliny, Nat. Hist., mi, 42. 6 Histoire 

rUnivemte par Crevier, v, p. 203. 1 Gaillard, His. de Francois 1st. v^p^ 2 

8 " filing a dexterous man, he escaped condemnation," says Crcvitr, v, p. 203. 


cal doctors, and in particular with the celebrated Ignatius Loyola, 
he showed himself one of the most ardent supporters of the papal 
cause. 1 From the days of the Emperor Julian, apostates, after 
their faithlessness, have always proved the most pitiless enemies of 
the doctrines which they had for a time professed. 

Maznrier soon found an opportunity of exercising his zeal. 
Young James Pavanne had also been cast into prison. Martial 
hoped that by causing his fall he might hide his own. The youth, 
amiable manners, learning, and integrity of Pavanne excited a 
strong interest in his favour, and Mazurier imagined that he would 
himself be less guilty if he could drag Master James into similar guilt. 
He repaired to his dungeon, and began his mano3uvres. He pre 
tended to have gone farther than he in the knowledge of the truth. 
; You err, James," he often repeated to him, "you have not 
seen the bottom of the sea: you know only the surface of the 
waves and billows." 2 Sophisms, promises, threats, nothing was 
spared. The unhappy youth seduced, agitated, shaken, at last 
yielded to these perfidious attacks, and publicly recanted his pre 
tended errors the day after Christmas 1524. But from that time 
a spirit of despondency and grief from the Almighty was upon Pav 
anne. His sighs were incessant. " Ah," repeated he, " nothing 
remains to me but a life of bitterness." Sad reward of faithless 
ness ! 

There were however, among them who received the word of 
God in France, men of a more intrepid spirit than Pavanne and 
Mazurier. Towards the end of 1523, Leclerc had quitted Metz 
and gone into Lorraine, where, says Theodore Beza, he had fol 
lowed the example of St. Paul at Corinth, who, while making tents, 
persuaded both Jews and Greeks. 8 Leclerc, while following his 
trade of wool-carder, taught the people of his own class. Several 
among them had been truly converted. Thus this humble artisan 
laid the foundations of a church which afterwards became cele 

Leclerc was not alone at Metz. Among the ecclesiastics of the 
town was an Augustin monk of Tournay, a doctor of theology, 
named John Chatelain, who had been brought to the knowledge of 
God, 4 by his intercourse with the Augustins of Antwerp. Cha 
telain had gained the respect of the people by the austerity of his 
manners, 5 and the doctrine of Christ preached by him in his 
chasuble and stole, had appeared to those inhabitants of Metz less 
strange, than when it came to them from the poor artisan who 

i Cum Ignatio Loyola Snit amic itiam. (Lainioi .tfavarrse p.Mmiasii historia, p. 621.) 
3 Actes des Martyrs, p. 99. a Acts, xviii, 3, 4. Apostoli apud Corinthios exeriv 

plum sectus. (IJezas Icones.) * Vocatus ad cognitionem Dei. (Act. Mart, 

p. 180.) o 5 Gaillard, Hist, de Fnu^oi* Ur, v, p. 232. Q 


quitted the comb with which he was carding wool, to explain a 
translation of the gospel in French. 

Evangelical light, thanks to the zeal of these two men, was be 
ginning to be diffused throughout the town. A very devout female 
of the name of Toussaint, of burgher parentage, had a son called 
Peter, to whom, when amusing himself beside her, she often ad 
dressed grave words. Every where, at this time, even in the 
houses of the citizens, something extraordinary was expected. 
One day the child, occupying himself with the diversions of his 
age, was riding through his mother s room on a long staff. She 
was conversing with some friends on religious matters, and said 
to them with emotion, " Antichrist will soon come in great power, 
and destroy those who shall have been converted by the preach 
ing of Elias." * These words, which were often repeated, struck 
the child, who called them to mind at a later period. Peter Tons- 
saint was full grown at the time when the doctor of theology and 
the wool-carder were preaching the gospel at Metz. His parents 
and friends, astonished at his youthful genius, hoped to see him 
one day occupying a distinguished place in the Church. One of 
his uncles, his father s brother, was primicier of Metz. This was 
the first dignity in the chapter. 2 Cardinal John of Lorrain, son of 
Duke Rene, who had a large establishment, had a great love for 
the uncle and nephew. The latter, notwithstanding of his youth, 
had just obtained a canonicate, when he began to give attention to 
the gospel. Might it not be that the preaching of Chatelain and 
Leclerc was that of Elias? Already, indeed, Antichrist was every 
where arming against it. But what then? "Let us," said he, "lift 
our heads toward the Lord, who will come and will not tarry." 8 

The gospel doctrine made its way into the first families of Metz. 
A person of considerable rank, the Chevalier d Esch, an intimate 
friend of the primicier, had just been converted. 4 The friends of 
the gospel were delighted. " The knight, our good master, . . ." 
repeated Peter; " if however," added he, with a noble candour, " it 
Is lawful to have a master on earth." 5 

Thus Metz was on the eve of becoming a focus of light when 
the imprudent zeal of Leclerc suddenly arrested its slow but sure 
progress, and raised a storm which well nigh ruined this rising 
Church. The great body of the lower classes continued to prac 
tise their old superstitions, and Leclerc s heart was grieved when he 

1 Cum equUabam in arundine longa, memini saepe audisse me a matre, venturum 
Antichristum cum potentia magna, perditurumque eosqui essent ad Elise prse(Hc:i. 
tionem conversi. (Tossanus Farrello, 4 Sept., 1525. MS. of the consistory of Neuchatel.) 

2 Ibid., 21st July. 1525. 3 Levemus interim capita ad Dominum qui veniet 
nostra et non tardabit . . . (Ibid. 4th Sept., 1525.) * Clarissimum ilium equi- 
tem .... cui multum familiaritis et amicitia-, cum primuerio Metensi, patruo 
meo. (Ibid., 2nd August, 1524.) 5 Ibid., 21st July, 1525. 


saw the city given up to idolatry. A great festival was at hand. 
About a league from the town was a chapel containing images of 
the virgin, and the most celebrated saints of the country, and to 
whom on a certain day all the inhabitants of Metz were accustomed 
to make a pilgrimage in order to worship the images, and obtain the 
pardon of their sins. 

The eve of the festival having arrived, the pious and intrepid 
soul of Leclerc was violently agitated. Has not God said, " Thou 
shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after 
their works; but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite 
break down their images"? 1 Leclerc thought that this command 
of God was addressed to him, and, without consulting either Cha- 
telain or Esch, or any of those who he might have suspected 
would oppose his scheme, in the evening, at nightfall, he went out 
of the town, and repaired to the chapel. There, seated in solemn 
silence beside these statues, he spent some time in meditation. He 
might indeed flee away; but . . ^ . to-morrow, within a few 
hours, a whole city, bound to worship God only, would be pros 
trated before these blocks of wood and stone. A struggle similar to 
that which so often took place in the breasts of the primitive Chris 
tians, now took place in the soul of the wool-carder. What mat 
ters it that these images are those of male and female saints, and 
not those of the gods and goddesses of Paganism ? Does not the 
worship which the people pay to these images belong to God only? 
Like Polyeuctes beside the idols of the temple, his heart shudders 
and his courage is inflamed : 

Ne perclons plus de terns, le sacrifice est pret, 
Allons-y du vrai Dieu soutenir l intret, 
Aliens fouler aux pieds ce fondre ridicule, 
Dont arme nn bois pourri ce peuple trop credule ; 
Aliens en eclairer 1 avenglement fatal, 
Aliens briser ces dieux de pierre et de nieta! ; 
Abandannons nos jours a cette ardeur celeste, 
Faisons triompher Dieu . . . qu il dispose du reste. 2 

In fact, Leclerc stands up, approaches the images, lifts them, breaks 
them, and indignantly scatters the fragments before the altar. He 
doubted not that it was the Spirit of the Lord which inspired him to 
do so, and Beza is of the same opinion. 3 After this Leclerc returned 
to Metz, which he re-entered at day-break, being perceived by 
some persons at the moment when he was going through the gate 
of the town. 4 

1 Exod., xx, 4 ; xxiii, 24. a Polyeucte par Pierre Coi-neillc. What many 

dmire in verse, they condemn in history. 3 Divini Spii-itus aftlatu impulsus. 

tP.) * Mane ;ipmi urbis pu; :aai <ii-prt>tirii.-:^. 


Meanwhile, every thing was in motion in the ancient city. The 
bells were ringing, the trades assembled, and the wholq town, 
headed by.the canons, the priests, and the monks, went out in pro 
cession, repeating prayers and singing hymns to the saints whom 
they were going to worship, with crosses and banners in full 
display, while instruments of music responded to the chant 
of the faithful. At length, after walking more than an hour, the 
procession reached the place of pilgrimage. But what was the 
astonishment of the priests when presenting themselves, with the 
censer in their hand, they see the images which they came to wor 
ship mutilated, and their remains strewing the ground. They start 
back in dismay, and publicly announce the act of sacrilege. All at 
once the hymns cease, the instruments are mute, the colours are 
lowered, and the wliole multitude are indescribably agitated. The 
canons, curates, and monks, strive to inflame the minds of the 
people, urging them to make a search for the culprit, and demand 
his death. 1 The ciy is heard from all sides, " Death, death to the 
perpetrator of the sacrilege ! " They return to Metz precipitately 
and without order. 

Leclere was known to all : he had repeatedly called images idols. 
Besides, had he not been seen at day-break on his way back from 
the chapel? Being apprehended, he immediately confessed the 
crime, and urged the people to worship God only. But this lan 
guage increased the fury of the multitude, who would on the instant 
have dragged him to death. When taken before the judges, he 
b,oldly declared that Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, ought 
alone to be worshipped. He was condemned to be burnt alive, 
and was led oif to the place of execution. 

Here a dreadful scene awaited him. The cruelty of his perse 
cutors prepared every thing that could add to the horrors of his 
execution. Near the scaffold they were heating pincers to minis 
ter to their rage. Leclere, calm and firm, stood unmoved amid the 
savage yells of the monks and people. They began by cutting oif 
his right thumb ; then, seizing the hot pincers, they pulled off his 
nose ; then, still using the same instrument, ^hey laid hold of both 
his arms, and, after breaking them in several places, seized him by 
the breast. 2 While the cruelty of his enemies was thus venting 
itself upon his body, his mind was at peace. Solemnly and with 
loud voice, he repeated the words of David, 4 " TJieir idols are silver 
and gold, the work of men s hand. They have mouths, but they speak 

1 Totam civitatem concitaront ad auctorem ejus facinoris quserendum. (Act. Mart. 
Lat. p. 189.) 2 Naso candentibusforcipibusabrepto,iisdemquebrachioutroque^ 

ipsis que mammis crudelissime perustis. (Bezse Icones.) MS. de Meaux ; Crispin, etc. 

3 Altissima yoce recitans. (Bezse Icones.) * Psalm cxv, 4-9. 


not ; eyes have they, but they see not. They have ears, but they hear 
not ; noses have they, but they smell not. They have hands, but they 
handle not, neither speak they through their throat. They that makt 
them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. 
Israel, trust thou in the Lord, he is their help and their shield. 1 His 
enemies, on seeing such strength of soul, were amazed, while be 
lievers felt strengthened. 1 The people who had manifested so 
much rage, were astonished and moved. 2 After these tortures, 
Leclerc was burnt at a slow fire, as his sentence bore. Such was 
the death of the first martyr for the gospel in France. 

But the priests of Metz were not satisfied. In vain had they 
tried to shake Chatelam. " He is deaf like the adder," they said, 
" and refuses to hear the truth." 3 He was seized by the people of 
the Cardinal of Lorraine, and earned to the castle of Nommeny. 

There he was degraded by the officials of the bishop, who took off 
his vestments, and scratched his finger with a bit of glass, saying, 
" By this scratching we deprive you of the power of sacrificing, 
consecrating, and blessing, which you received by the laying on of 
hands." 4 Afterwards, putting a layman s dress upon him, they 
remitted him to the secular power, which condemned him to be 
burnt alive. The pile was soon prepared, and the minister of 
Christ was consumed by the flames. u Lutheranism, nevertheless, 
spreads in all the district of Metz," say the authors of the History 
of the Gallican church, while approving greatly of these severities. 

From the moment the storm had burst upon the Church of Metz, 
there was great distress in the house of Toussaint. His uncle, the 
primicier, without taking any active part in the persecutions of 
Leclerc and Chatelain, shuddered when the thought of his nephew 
belonging to these people. The alarm of his mother was greater 
still. There was not a moment to be lost ; all who had lent an 
ear to the gospel were threatened in their liberty and their life. 
The blood the inquisitors had shed, only increased their thirst, 
and new scaffolds were about to be erected. Peter Toussaint, the 
Chevalier d Esch, and several others, quitted Metz in all haste, 
and took refuge in Basle. 

1 Adversary s terrifis, pLis magnopere confirmatis. (Bezae Icones.) 2 Newio 

qui mm comrnovoretur, attouitus. (Act. Mart. Lat. p. 189.) 3 Instar aspidi* 

serp .-utis aures ouini surditate affectas. (Ibid., p. 183.) * Utriusque maims 

digitos lamina vitrea erasit (Act des Mart., Lat. p. 66.) He scratched the fingers of 
both hands with a bit of glass. 




Farel anrl bis brothers Farel driven from Gap He preaches in the fields 
Chevalier Anemond of Ccct The Minorite Anemond quits France Luther to 
the Duke of Savoy Farel quits France. 

Thus the storm o/ persecution raged at Meaux and at Metz. 
The north of France repudiated the God, and for a time the gospel 
withdrew. But the Reformation only changed its place. The 
south eastern provinces became the theatre of it. 

Farel, who had taken refuge at the foot of the Alps, there display 
ed great activity. To him it was a small matter to enjoy domestic 
happiness in the bosom of his family. The rumour of what had 
taken place at Meaux and at Paris, had inspired his brothers with 
a kind of terror ; but an unknown power attracted them to the 
new and unknown truths with which William entertained them. 
With the impetuosity of his zeal he urged them to be converted to 
the gospel, 1 and David, Walter, and Claude, were at length 
gained to the God whom their brother preached. They did not at 
the first moment abandon the worship of their ancestors ; but when 
persecution arose they boldly sacrificed friends, goods, and country 
for liberty to worship Jesus Christ. 2 

The brothers of Luther and Zuinglius appear not to have been 
as decidedly converted to the gospel. The French reformation 
had from the beginning a more friendly and domestic character. 

Farel did not confine himself to his brothers ; he announced the 
truth to his relatives and friends at Gap, and in its neighbourhood. 
It would even appear, if we can credit a manuscript, that, availing 
himself of the friendship of certain ecclesiastics, he preached the 
gospel in several churches ; 3 but other authorities assure us that at 
this time he did not mount the pulpit. Be this as it may, the doc 
trine which he professed made a great noise. The multitude and 
the clergy wished to put him to silence. " A new and strange 
heresy 1" said they. "Can it be that all pious observances are 
vain? He is neither monk nor priest. He has no right to act the 
preacher." 4 

All the civil and ecclesiastical powers of Gap were soon united 
against Farel. He was evidently an agent of the sect which was 
everywhere spoken against. " Let us," it was said, " cast far from 

1 MS. de Choupard. 2 Farel, a gentleman of rank, possessed of good means, 

all of which he lost for religion, as did also his three brothers. " 3 He preached 
he gospel publicly with great freedom. * MS. de Choupard. Hist, dos Eveq. de 

Nismcp, 1788. 


us this firebrand of discord." Farel was summoned to appear, 
treated harshly, and violently banished from the town. 1 

He did not, however, abandon his native district. Did not 
the fields, the villages, and the banks of the Durance, the Gui- 
sanne, and the Isere contain many souls which had need of 
the gospel? And if he there ran some risk of danger, did not 
those forests, and caves, and steep rocks which he had so often 
visited in his youth, offer him an asylum? He began to go 
up and down the country, preaching in houses and amid lonely 
pastures, taking shelter in woods and on the brinks of torrents. 2 
It was a school in which God was training him for other labours. 
" Crosses, persecutions, and the machinations of Satan, of which 
I bad been forewarned, have not been wanting," said he, " they are 
far too strong for me to withstand them, but God is my father; he 
has furnished, and will furnish, me with all the strength I require.* 
A great number of the inhabitants of these districts received the 
truth from his mouth. Thus the persecution which had driven 
Farel from Paris and from Meaux, spread the Reformation through 
out the provinces of the Saone, the Rhone, and the Alps. In all 
ages this scripture is fulfilled, " Therefore they that were scattered 
abroad went everywhere preaching the word" 4 

Among the French who were then gained to the gospel, was a 
gentleman of Dauphiny, Chevalier Anemone! of Coct, a younger 
son of auditor de Coct, lord of Chastelard. Quick, ardent, easily 
moved, pious hearted, an enemy of relica, processions, and the clergy, 
Anemond received the evangelical doctrine with great readiness, 
and soon was entirely devoted to it. He could not endure forms 
in religion, and would willingly have abolished all the ceremonies 
of the church. To him the religion of the heart, internal adora 
tion, alone was true. " Never," said he, u has my spirit found any 
rest in externals. A summary of Christianity is contained in 
these words, "John baptized with water, but you will be baptized 
with the Holt/ Spirit: there must be a new creature." 5 

Coct, who had all the vivacity of a Frenchman, spoke and wrote 
sometimes in Latin, and sometimes in French. He read and quoted 
the Donat, Thomas Aquinas, Juvenal, and the Bible. He spoke 
in short sentences, and passed abruptly from one idea to another. 
Always in motion, wherever a door appeared open to the gospel, or 
a celebrated doctor was to be heard, there he was to be found. By 
his warm-heartedness he gained the love of all with whom he was 

" He was expelled with great rudeness as well by the bishop as by the people of 
Ilia town." (Ibid.) 2 Qlitn errabundusinsylvis, in nemoribus, in aquis. (Farel ad 

Capit. de Bucer., Basil 25 Oct. Letter MS. of Neuchatel.) J formerly wandered up 
and down in woods, and proves, and among waters. 3 Non defuere crux, per- 

secutio et Satanae machinamenta. (Farel Galeoto.) * Acts, viii, 4. 

3 Nmtqiiam in externis quievit spiritus meus. (Coctus Farello, MS. of the Consis 
tory of Neuchatel.) 



brought into connection. " He is a man of distinguished truth and 
learning," said Zuinglius, at a later period, "but he is still more 
distinguished for his piety and affability." 1 Anemond is a kind of 
type of many Frenchmen of the Reformation . Vivacity, simplicity, 
zeal amounting to imprudence, such were some of the character 
istics of his countrymen who embraced the gospel. In the other 
extreme of the French character we find the grave figure of Calvin, 
who forms a striking contrast to the fickleness of Coct. Calvin 
and Anemond are the two opposite poles, between which all the 
religious world in France vibrates. 

No sooner had Anemond been instructed by Farel in tbe know 
ledge of Jesus Christ, 2 than he himself sought to gain souls to this 
doctrine of spirit and life. His father was dead : his elder brother, 
of a harsh and hatighty temper, repulsed him with disdain. Lau 
rence the youngest of the family, and who had a great affection for 
him, seemed only, partially, to comprehend him. Anemond seeing 
himself repulsed by his own family, turned his activity elsewhere. 

Till now the revival of Dauphiny had been confined to lay 
men. Farel, Anemond, and their friends, longed to see a priest 
at the head of the movement. At Grenoble there was a curate, a 
minorite, named Peter da Sebville, an eloquent preacher, and an 
honest good hearted man, who consulted not with flesh and blood, 
and whom God was gradually drawing to himself. 3 Sebville soon 
perceived that there was no infallible teacher but the word of 
God, and abandoning doctrines supported only by human testimony 
resolved in spirit to preach the word u clearly, purely, holily." 4 
These three words express the whole Reformation. Coct and 
Farel were delighted when they heard this new preacher of grace 
raise his eloquent voice in their province, and they thought that 
their presence would thenceforth be less necessary. 

The more the revival extended, the more violent the opposition 
became. Anemond, desirous to know Luther and Zuinglius and the 
countries in which the Reformation had commenced, and indignant 
at seeing the truth repulsed by his fellow- citizens, resolved to bid 
adieu to his country and his family. Having made a will disposing 
of his property, (which was then in possession of his eldest brother, 
lord of Chatelard,) in favour of his brother Laurence, 5 he quitted 
Dauphiny and France, and hastening with his usual impetuosity 
from the south over countries then difficult to pass, he crossed 

1 Virum est genere, doctrinaque claruin, ita pietate humaniteque longc olariorem 
(Zw. Ep. 319.) 3 In a letter to Farel. (2nd Sept., 152-1,) he subscribes himself "your 
humble, son." * Pater coelestis animum sic tuurn ad se traxit. (Zuiuglius Sebvillse. 
Ep., p. 320.) Our heavenly Father so draws your mind to himself. * Nitide, pure, 

saticteque preediearein animum indueis. (Ibid.) 5 " My brother, Anemond Coct, 
theknight.onleaving the country, made me hia heir." (MS. Letters of the Library of 


Switzerland, and scarcely stopping at Basle, arrived at Wittem- 
berg beside Luther. This was shortly after the second Diet of 
Nuremberg. The French gentleman accosted the Saxon doctor 
with his ordinary vivacity. He spoke enthusiastically of the 
gospel, and with earnestness explained the plans which he had 
formed for the propagation of the truth. Saxon gravity smiled at 
the southern imagination of the knight, 1 and Luther, though he 
had some prejudices against the French character, was won and 
carried away by Anemond. He was moved to think how this gen 
tleman had come for the gospel from France to Wittemberg. 2 " Of 
a surety," said the Reformer to his friends, "this French knight is 
an excellent, learned, and pious man." 3 The young gentleman 
produced the same impression on Zuinglius and Luther. 

Anemond seeing what Luther and Zunglius had done, thought 
that if they would take possession of France and Saxony, nothing 
could resist them, and hence when he could not persuade them to 
go thither, he urged them to consent at least to write. In parti 
cular, he begged Luther to address a letter to Duke Charles of 
Savoy, brother of Louisa and Philibert, uncle of Francis I and 
Margaret. ** This prince," said he to the doctor, " takes a great 
interest in piety and true religion, 4 and likes to talk of the Refor 
mation with some persons of his court. He is fitted to compre 
hend you, for his motto is l Nihil deest timentibus Ztewm. 5 This 
motto is also yours. Struck at alternately by the Empire and by 
France; humbled, grieved, always in danger, his heart is in want 
of God and his grace. All he requires is a powerful impulse. 
Were he gained to the gospel, he would have an immense influ 
ence over Switzerland, Savoy, and France. Do write him." 

Luther was wholly German, and would have found himself ill at 
ease out of Germany. Still animated by a truly catholic spirit, he 
gave his hand as soon as he saw brethren wherever there was 
a word to be delivered, he took care to have it heard. Occa 
sionally he wrote on the same day to the extremities of Europe, 
the Low Countries, Savoy, and Livonia. 

" Certainly," replied he to Anemond s request, " the love of the 
gospel in a prince is a rare gift, and an inestimable jewel." 6 He 
addressed a letter to the duke, which was probably carried by An 
emond as far as Switzerland. 

" Will your highness pardon me," wrote Luther, " if I, a humble 

1 Mere ardens in Evangelium, says Luther to Spalatin. (Ep. ii, p. 340.) " Sehr 
briinstigin der Herrlichkeit des Evangelii," are his words to the Duke of Savo}-. 
(Ibid., p. 401.) 2 Evangelii gratia hue profectus e Gallia. (Ibid.) 3 Hie Callus 

oq-iefi .... optimus vir est, eruditus ac pins. (Ibid.) * Ein grosser Liebhaber 

der wnhren Religion und Gottseligkeit. (Ibid. p. 401.) 5 Nothing is wanting to those 
who fear God. (Hist. Gen. de la Maison de Savoie par Guichemm, ii. p. 228.) 

6 Eine seltsame Oabe und holies Kleined unter den Fursten. (L. Ep. ii, p. 401. 

O 2 


and despised individual, dare to address you, or rather will your 
Highness be pleased to impute this boldness to the glory of the 
gospel? For I cannot sx?e this splendid luminary rise and shine 

iii any quarter, without exulting with joy My desire is, 

that my Lord Jesus may win many souls by the example of your 
most serene Highness. Wherefore I wish to tell you of our doctrine. 
. . . We believe that the commencement of salvation, and the sum -jf 
Christianity, is faith in Christ, who by his blood alone, and not by 
our works, has expiated sin, and destroyed the dominion of death. 
We believe that this faith is a gift of God, and that it is created 
by the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and not found by our own ex 
ertion. For faith is a living thing, 1 which begets man spiritually, 
and makes him a new creature." 

Luther next proceeded to the consequences of faith, and showed 
how we cannot possess it unless the scaffolding of false doctrines 
and human works which the church had so laboriously reared, were 
forthwith thrown down. " If grace," said he, " is gained by the 
blood of Christ, it is not by our own works. Wherefore all works 
and cloisters are useless, and these institutions must be abolished 
as being against the blood of Jesus Christ, and leading men to 
confide in their own works. Incorporated with Jesus Christ, it 
now only remains for us to do that which is good, because having 
become good trees, we ought to testify it by good fruits. 

" Gracious Lord and Prince," says Luther in concluding, u may 
your Highness, who has begun so well, continue to spread this 
doctrine not by the power of the sword, which would do harm to 
the gospel, but by calling into your states teachers who preach 
the Word. It is by the breath of his mouth that Jesus will destroy 
Antichrist, in order that, as Daniel expresses it, he may "be 
broken without hand." (Dan., viii, 25.) Therefore, most serene 
Prince, may your Highness revive the spark which has begun to 
burn in you. May a fire come forth from the house of Savoy, as 
of old from the house of Joseph. 2 May all France be as stubble 
before the fire : may it burn, and crackle, and purify, so that this 
illustrious kingdom may bear in truth the name of most Christian 
kingdom, which till this hour it owes only to the torrents of blood 
shed in the service of Antichrist !" 

Such was Luther^ effort to spread the gospel in France. It is 
not known what effect the letter produced upon the Prince ; but 
it does not appear that he ever showed any desire so detach him 
self from Rome. In 1 522 he prayed Adrian VI to be godfather to 
his first son, and at a later period the pope promised the second a 

1 Dei- Glaube 1st ein lebemlig Ding .... (T<. Ep. ii, p. 402.) The original Latiu is 
lost. - Das eia Feuev von dem Ilause Soplioy nusgehe. (I bid., p. 406 ,) 


cardinal s hat. Anemond after attempting to see the court and 
Elector of Saxony, 1 for which purpose he had received a letter 
from Luther, returned to Basle more determined than ever to 
sacrifice his life for the gospel. In his ardour he wished he were 
able to shake all France. " All that I am," said he, u and all that 
I shall be; all that I have, and all that I shall have, I wish to 
devote to the glory of God. 2 

At Basle Anemond found his countryman Farel. Anemond s 
letters had produced in him an eager desire to see the Reformers 
of Switzerland and Germany. Farel moreover required a sphere 
of activity, in which he could more freely display his powers. He 
therefore quitted that France which had nothing but scaffolds to 
give to the preachers of the pure gospel. Taking by roads and con 
cealing himself in the woods, he succeeded, though with difficulty, 
in escaping the hands of his enemies. He frequently lost his way. 
u By my powerlessness in these petty things," "saith he, " God 
means to teach me what my powerlessness is in great things. 3 
At length in the beginning of 1524, he arrived in Switzerland. It 
was here he was to spend his life in the service of the gospel, and 
it was at this time that France began to send into Helvetia 
those generous evangelists who were to establish the Reformation 
in Romane Switzerland, and give it a new and powerful impulse 
throughout the Confederation, and the whole world. 


Catholicity of the Reformation Friendship of Farel and (Ecolampadius Farel and 
Erasmus Altercation Farel calls for a Discussion Theees Scripture and Faith 

A fine feature in the Reformation is its catholicity. Germans 
come into Switzerland Frenchmen go into Germany at a later 
period Englishmen and Scotchmen repair to the Continent, and 
teachers from the Continent to Great Britain. The Reformation 
of the different countries began almost independently of each other ; 
but no sooner do they begin than they shake hands. There is 
but one faith, one spirit, one Lord, I think it was not well done 
hitherto to write the history of the Reformation only for one 
country. The work is one, and Protestant churches, from their 
origin, form one body, "fitly joined together." 4 

1 Vult videre aulam et faciem Principis nostri. (L. Ep. ii, p. 340.) 3 Quidquid 
sum, habeo, ero, habebove, ad Dei gloriam intnnere ineiis est. (Coot. Ep. MS. of 
Xeuchattl.) 3 Voluit Doniinus per infimia Lsee, docere quid possit homo in 

inajoiibus. (Farel Capitoni., ibid.) * Eph., iv, 1C. 


At this time a French church, saved from the scaffold, was 
formed at Basle by several refugees from France and Lorraine. 
They had spoken about Lefevre, Farel, and the events at Meaux, 
and hence when Farel arrived in Switzerland he was already 
known as one of the most devoted champions of the gospel. 

He was immediately introduced to (Ecolampadius, who had 
been for some time returned to Basle. Seldom have two more 
opposite characters met. (Ecolampadius, charmed by his mild 
ness, Farel carried away by his impetuosity; but from the first 
moment these two men felt united for ever. 1 It was the second 
union of a Luther and a Melancthon. (Ecolampadius received 
Farel into his house, gave him a modest chamber, a frugal table, 
and introduced him to his friends. The learning, piety, and 
courage of the young Frenchman, soon won all hearts. Pellican, 
Imeli, Wolfhard, and other ministers of Basle, felt strengthened 
in the faith by his energetic discourses. (Ecolampadius was at 
this time in very low spirits. " Alas 1" said he to Zuinglius, u I 
speak in vain, arid see not the least ground for hope. Perhaps I 
should have had more success among the Turks." 2 .... "Ah!" 
added he with a deep sigh, " I blame nobody but myself." But 
he more he saw of Farel, the more his heart revived and the 
oarage which was thus imparted to him became the basis of an 
imperishable affection. " Oh my dear Farel," said he to him, " I 
hope the Lord will make our friendship immortal ! and if we can 
not be united here below, our joy will only ue the greater when 
we meet beside the Saviour in heaven/ 3 Pious and touching 
thoughts ! The arrival of Farel was evidently assistance sent to 
Switzerland from abore. 

But while this Frenchman was delighted with (Ecolampadius, 
he recoiled coldly, and with a noble disdain, from a man at whoso 
feet all the nations of Christendom did homage. The prince of 
scholars he from whom a word and a look were objects of ambition 
the master of the age, Erasmus, was disregarded by Farel. 
The young man from Dauphiny had refused to go and do homage 
to the old sage of Rotterdam, because he despised the men who 
are never more than half-way on the side of truth, and who, while 
aware of the dangers of error, are full of deference for those who 
propagate it. Thus in Farel Avas seen that decision which became 
one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Reformation in 
France and French Switzerland, and which has sometimes been 
stigmatised as rudeness, exclusiveness, intolerance. A discussion 

i Amicum semper habui a primo collnquio. (Farel ad Bulling. 27th M;n , 156G.) Ho 
was even my friend after our first interview. 2 Fortasse in mediis Turcis fe- 

licius docuissem. (Zvv. et Ecol. Ep., p. 200.} s Mi Farelle, spei-o Doininnm 

conservaturum ainidtiam nostrum immortalem ; et si hie conjuugi nequimus, tauto 
beatius alibi apud Christum erit contuberuium. (Ibid., p. 201.) 


had taken place in regard to t^e commentaries of Lefevre, between 
the two greatest doctors of the period, and there never was a party 
where those present did not either take part with Erasmus against 
Lefevre, or for Lefevre against Erasmus. 1 Farel had not hesitated 
to take part with his master. But what had especially excited 
his indignation was the cowardice of the philosopher of Rotterdam 
in regard to evangelical Christians. Erasmus shut his door 
against them. Very well. Farel won t knock at it. This cost him 
but a small sacrifice, convinced, as he was, that Erasmus wanted the 
basis of all true theology, piety of heart. " The wife of Frobenius," 
he said, "has more theology than he." Indignant at Erasmus for 
having written to the pope, stating how he ought to proceed in 
order "to extinguish the fire raised by Luther," he declared loudly 
that Erasmus wished to stifle the gospel. 2 

Young Farel s independence irritated the illustrious scholar. 
Princes, kings, doctors, bishops, popes, reformers, priests, men of 
the world, all considered themselves happy in coming to pay him 
their tribute of admiration. Luther himself had showed some 
deference for his person, and this exiled stranger from Dau- 
phiriy presumed to brave his power. This insolent freedom gave 
more chagrin to Erasmus than the homage of the whole world 
gave him joy. Accordingly he omitted no opportunity of discharg 
ing his bad humour at Farel : besides, in attacking so decided a 
heretic, he washed himself, in the eyes of the Roman Catholics, of 
the suspicion of hesesy. " Never," said he, " have I seen a more 
false, virulent, and seditious man. 3 His heart is full of vanity, his 
tongue full of malice." 4 But the wrath of Erasmus did not stop 
at Farel : it broke out against all the French refugees at Basle 
whose frankness and decision had annoyed him. They showed 
that they had little respect of persons. When the truth was not 
frankly professed, they cared little for the man, how great soever his 
genius might be. They perhaps wanted somewhat of the mild temper 
of the gospel, but their fidelity had in it something of the strength of 
the old prophets. We love to meet with men who refuse to bend to 
what the world worships. Erasmus, astonished at this proud dis 
dain, complained to everybody. Writing to Melancthon he says, 
" What ! shall we reject pontiffs, and bishops, only to have more 
cruel tyrants, scabbed madmen, for such France has sent us?" 5 
" Some Frenchmen," wrote he to the pope s secretary in present 
ing him with his book on Free Will, " are still madder than the 
Germans themselves. They have always in their mouths these 

1 Nullum est pene convivium .... (Er. Ep., p. 179.) 2 Consilium quo sic 

("xtiiiguaiui 1 incendiurn Luthernnum. (Ibid.) 3 Quo nihil vicli mendacius, viru- 

hntius, et seditiosius. (Ibid., p. 798.) * Acidae linguae et vanissimus. (Ibid., 

p. 2129.) 5 Scabiosos . . rabiosos . . . nam nuper nobis misit Gallia. (Ibid., 

p. 350.) 


five words Gospel, Word of God, Faith, Christ, Holy Spirit 
and yet I doubt not it is the spirit of Satan that impels them." x 
instead of Farellus he often wrote Fallicus, thus designating one 
of the frankest men of his age by the epithet of cheat or deceiver. 

The spirit and wrath of Erasmus were at their height, when he 
was told that Farel had called him a Balaam. Farel thought that 
Erasmus, like that prophet, allowed himself, perhaps without 
knowing it, to be seduced by presents to speak against the people 
of God. The learned Dutchman, unable to contain himself, re 
solved to call the audacious Frenchman to account: and one day 
when Farel was talking on Christian doctrine with several friends, 
Erasmus, bluntly interrupting him, said, " Why do you call me 
Balaam." 2 Farel, astonished at first at the bluntness of the 
question, soon recovered himself, and replied that it was not he 
who had so called him. Pressed to name the culprit, he mentioned 
Du Blet of Lyons, like himself a refugee at Basle. 3 " It may be 
he is the person who said it," replied Erasmus, " but it was you 
who taught him to say it. 1 Then ashamed at having lost his 
temper, he quickly turned the conversation. " Why." said he to 
Farel, do you maintain that the saints are not to be invoked ? 
Is it because the Holy Scriptures do not command it ?" " Yes," 
said the Frenchman. " Very well," replied the scholar, "I challenge 
you to prove by Scripture that it is necessary to pray to the Holy 
Spirit." Farel made this simple and true reply, "If lie is God he 
must be invoked." * "I left off the discussion," says Erasmus, 
" for it was drawing to night." 5 Thenceforth every time that the 
name of Farel came under his pen, it was to reproach him as a 
hateful being, to be shunned at all hazards. The letters of the 
Reformer, on the contrary, are full of moderation in regard to 
Erasmus. Even in the hottest temperament, the gospel is milder 
than philosophy. 

At Basle, the Reformed doctrine had already many friends in 
the Council and among the people, but the professors of the Uni 
versity combated it with all their might. (Ecolampadius and Stor, 
pastor of Liestal, had maintained theses against them. Farel thought 
it his duty in Switzerland also to make a public profession of the great 
principle of the Evangelical school of Paris and Meaux the suffi 
ciency of Hie Word of God. He asked permission of the University to 
maintain theses, "rather," he added modestly, " that I may be cor 
rected if I am wrong, than to teach others." c The University refused. 

1 Non dubitem quin agantur spiiitu Satanse. (Er. Ep.,p. 350.) 2 Diremi dis- 

putationem . . . (Ibid., p. 804.) 3 Ut diceret negotiatorem quemdam Dupletum 

hoc dixisse. (Ibid., p. 2129.) * Si Deus est, inquit, invocandus est. (Ibid., 

p. 804.) 5 Omissa disputatione, nam imminebat nox. (Ibid.) We have only tbe 

account of this conversation given by Erasmus, who himself tells us, that Farel also 
gave an account of it which differed greatly from his. Damit er gelehrt werde, 

ob er irre. (Fussli Beytr. iv, p. 244.) 


Farel then addressed the Council, and the Council announced 
that a Christian man named William Farel, having by the inspi 
ration of the Holy Spirit prepared certain articles conformable to 
the gospel, 1 permission was given him to maintain them in Latin. 
The University prohibited every priest and student from appear 
ing at this discussion, but the Council issued a contrary order. 

The following are some of the thirteen propositions which Farel 
posted up : 

"Christ has given us the most perfect rule of life: no man is 
entitled to take from it or to add to it. 

" To be guided by other precepts than those of Christ, leads 
directly to impiety. 

" The true ministry of priests is to devote themselves to the ad 
ministration of the Word : they have no higher office. 

" To deprive the glad tidings of Christ of their certainty, is to 
destroy them. 

" He who hopes to be justified by his own power and his own 
merits, erects himself into a God. 

u Jesus Christ, whom all things obey, is our polar star, and the 
sole star which we ought to follow." 2 

Thus this " Frenchman " presented himself at Basle. 3 A 
mountaineer of Dauphiny, brought up in Paris at the feet of Le- 
fevre, came to this celebrated University of Switzerland, under th 
eye of Erasmus, and boldly expounded the great principles of the 
Reformation. Two ideas were contained in Farel s theses. The 
one was the duty of returning to the Holy Scriptures ; the other 
the duty of returning to faith; two things which the papacy, in 
the famous bull of Unigenitus, at the beginning of the eighteenth 
century, has decidedly condemned as heretical and impious, and 
which, closely connected with each other, in fact overturn the 
system of the papacy. If faith in Christ is the beginning and end 
of Christianity, it is to the word of Christ we must attach our 
selves, and not to that of the Church. More than this : if faith 
unites souls, where is the necessity for an external bond of union? 
Do crosses, bulls, and tiaras constitute this sacred unity ? Faith 
unites in a spiritual and true unity all those in whose hearts it 
fixes its abode. Thus vanished at one blow the triple delusion 
of meritorious works, human traditions, and a spurious unity. This 
is the whole of Eoman Catholicism. 

The discussion commenced in Latin. 4 Farel and (Ecolampadins 
explained and proved their articles, repeatedly challenging their 

1 Aus Eingiessung des heiligen Geistes ein christlicher Mensch imd Bruder. (Fussli 
Beytr. iv, p. 244.) 2 Gulielmus Farellus Christianis lectoribus, die Martis post 

Reminiscere. (Ibid., p. 247.) Fussli does riot give the Latin text. 3 Schcdam 

conclusionum a Gallo illo. (Zw. Ep., p. 333.) * fc chcdam conclus onum Latins 

aimd rio rHjpr.tataui. (I In .) 


opponents to reply, but none of them appeared. The sophists 
(so (Ecolampadius styles them) made a great bluster, but hidden 
(in their obscure retreats. 1 Accordingly the people began to de 
spise the cowardice of the priests, and to detest their tyranny. 2 

Thus Farel obtained a place among the defenders of the Refor 
mation. People were delighted to see a Frenchman combining so 
much learning and piety. The greatest triumphs were anticipated. 
" He is strong enough by himself alone," it was said, " to destroy 
all the Sorbonne." 3 His candour, sincerity, and frankness, 
gained all hearts. 4 But in the midst of his activity, he forgot not 
that it was in his own soul his mission behoved to commence. 
The mild (Ecolampadius, and the ardent Farel, entered into a 
paction in virtue of which they bound themselves to exercise hu 
mility and meekness* in their ordinary conversation. These in 
trepid men knew how to train themselves for peace even on the very 
battle field. The impetuosity of a Luther and a Farel were how 
ever necessary virtues. Some effort must be made, when the end 
in view is to displease the world, and renovate the Church. The 
men of our day too often forget a truth, which the meekest men of 
that day recognised. * Some," said (Ecolampadius to Luther in 
introducing Farel to him, " some could wish that this zeal against 
the enemies of the truth were more moderate ; but I cannot help 
seeing in this very zeal an admirable virtue, which, if seasonably 
displayed, is no less necessary than gentleness." 5 Posterity has 
confirmed the judgment of (Ecolampadius. 

In the month of May, 1524, Farel, with some friends from 
Lyons, visited Schaffhausen, Zurich, and Constance. Zuinglius 
and Myconius gave a glad welcome to this exile of France. 
Farel remembered it all his days. On his return to Basle he 
found Erasmus and his other enemies at work, and received orders 
to quit the town. In vain did his friends loudly testify their dis 
approbation of such an abuse of power. He behoved to quit the 
soil of Switzerland, which was hereafter doomed to great disasters. 
" Such," said (fccolampadius, " is the way in which hospitality is 
understood by us, true sons of Sodom." 8 

Farel, while at Basle, had continued upon intimate terms with 
Chevalier d Esch, who resolved to accompany him. They accord 
ingly set out furnished with letters to Capito and Luther, to whom 
the doctor of Basle recommended Farel as " the William who had 

1 Agunt tamen magnos interim thrasones, sed in angulis lucifugse. (Zw. Ep. 
p. 333.) - Inclpit tamen plebs paulatim Riorum ignaviam et tyrannidem verbo 

Dei agnoscere. (Ibid.) s Ad totam Sorbonnicam affligendam si non et pei den- 

dam. (CEcol. Luthero, Ep., p. 200.) * Farello iiihil candidius est. (Ibid.) 

Verum ego virtutem illam adniirabilem et non minus placiditate, si ternpestive 
fuerit, necessarian!. Ibid.) c Adeo hospitum rationem habemus, veri Sodomite. 

<Zw. Ep., p. 434. 


laboured so much in the work of God." 1 At Strasburg, Farel 
formed an intimate friendship with Capito, Bucer, and Hedio, 
but he appears not to have gone as far as Wittemberg. 


New Campaign Calling of Farel to the Ministry An advanced post Lyons nn 
Evangelical Focus Sebville at Grenoble Conventicles Preaching at Lyons 
Maigret in Prison Margaret intimidated. 

God usually removes his servants from the field of battle to 
bring them back stronger and better aimed. Farel and his friends 
in Meaux, Lyons, and Dauphiny, driven from France by persecu 
tion, had become imbued, in France and Germany, with the 
spirit of the oldest Reformers : and now like an army at first scat 
tered by the enemy, but instantly rallied, they were about to turn 
round and march forward in the name of the Lord. These friends 
of the gospel did not only reappear on the frontiers ; in France 
itself they resumed courage, and prepared to renew the attack. 
The trumpets now sounded the reveille : the soldiers buckled on 
their armour, and formed themselves in bands to multiply their 
blows : the leaders were preparing for the onset the watchword 
" Jesus, his word and his grace" more powerful than the flourish 
of martial music at the moment of battle, filled men s hearts with 
equal enthusiasm. All was ready in France for a second cam 
paign, which was to be signalised by new victories, and by new 
and greater reverses. 

Montbeliard at this time demanded a labourer. Duke Ulric of 
Wittemberg, young, violent, and cruel, dispossessed of his estates in 
1519, by the Suabian league, had taken refuge in this county, 
the only one of his dominions remaining to him. He saw the Re 
formers in Switzerland : his misfortunes proved salutary, and he 
felt a relish for the gospel. 2 (Ecolampadius informed Farel that a 
door was opened in Montbeliard, and Farel hastened secretly to 

Farel had not regularly entered the ministry, but at this period 
we find in him all that was necessary to constitute a minister of 
the Lord. He did not throw himself into the service of the church 
thoughtlessly and of his own accord. " Looking at my littleness," 
he says, " I should not have dared to preach, waiting until my 

Gulielmus ille qui tarn probe navavit operam. (Zw. et (Ecol. Ep., p. 175.) 
A prince who had a knowledge of the gospel. (Fart- 1 Sunimaire.) 


Lord should send a fitter person. 1 But God gave me a triple call. 
He was no sooner arrived at Basle than (Ecolampadius, touched 
with the wants of France, besought him to devote himself to it. 
" See," said he to him, " how little Jesus Christ is known by all 
who speak the French language. Will ye not give them some in 
struction in their mother tongue, that they may the better under 
stand the Holy Scriptures? " 2 At the same time he received a call 
from the people of Montbeliard, and the prince consented. 3 Was 
not this triple call from God? .... U I did not think," says he, 
" it could be lawful for me to resist. According to God I obey." 4 
Concealed in the house of CEcolampadius, struggling with the re 
sponsibility which was offered to him, yet obliged to yield to the 
dear manifestation of the will of God, Farel accepted the charge, 
and (Ecolampadiusy commended him to it, calling on the name of 
the Lord, 5 and giving his friend counsels full of wisdom. " The 
more you are inclined to violence," said he to him, "the more 
ought you to exercise yourself in gentleness temper your lion 
courage with dove-like gentleness." 8 Farel answered this appeal 
with all his soul. 

Thus Farel, of old an ardent follower of the ancient church, was 
going to become a servant of God in the new Church. If Rome 
demands, to the validity of an ordination, the laying on of the 
hands of a bishop descended by uninterrupted succession from the 
apostles, it is merely because she places human tradition above the 
word of God. In every church where the authority of the Word is 
not absolute, it is necessary to have recourse to another authority. 
And then, what more natural than to look to the most venerated 
ministers of God, for what they know not how to find in God him 
self? If they speak not in the name of Jesus Christ, is itTnot 
something at least to speak in the name of St. John and St. Paul ? 
He who speaks in the name of antiquity, is stronger than the ra 
tionalist who speaks only in his own name. But the Christian 
minister has a still higher authority: he preaches not because he 
descends from St. Chrysostom and St. Peter, but because the word 
which he announces descends from God himself. The idea of suc 
cession, how respectable soever it may appear, is only a human 
system substituted for the system of God. In the ordination of 
Farel there was no human succession. Nay more, there was not 
in it a thing which is necessary in the Lord s flocka, among whom 
everything must be done in order, God being not a God of con 
fusion. He had no ordination by the Church. But extraor- 

1 Surnmaire, c est a dire, Brieve Declaration cte G. Farel, in the Epilogue. 

2 (Tbid.) 3 Being required and demanded by the people, with the consent of 
the prince. * (Ibid.) 3 With invocation in the name of God. (Ibid.) 

c Leoninammagrnaui iitatem colunibina raodestia frangas. ((Ecol. Ep., p. 198.) 


dlnary times justify extraordinary things. At this memorable 
period God himself interposed. By marvellous dispensations he 
consecrated those whom he called to the renovation of the world, 
and this consecration is well worth that of the Church. There was 
in Farel s ordination the infallible word of God given to a man of 
God to carry it to the world the call of God and the people, and 
the ordination of the heart. Perhaps there is not a minister of 
Rome or Geneva who has been more legitimately ordained to the 
holyministry. Farelsetoutfor Montbeliard accompanied byD Esch. 

Farel was thus placed as an advanced post. Behind him were 
Basle and Strasburg, to support him by their counsels and printing 
presses. Before him stretched the provinces of Franche-Comte, 
Burgundy, Lorraine, Lyonnais, and the rest of France, where men of 
God were beginning to struggle against error in the midst of pro 
found darkness. He immediately began to preach Christ, and to 
entreat the faithful not to allow themselves to be turned from the 
Holy Scriptures by threats or guile. Farel was at Montbeliard 
like a general on a height, with a piercing eye taking in the whole 
field of battle, urging those who are actually engaged, rallying those 
whom the impetuosity of the attack has thrown into disorder, and 
by his own courage inflaming those who remained behind. 1 Eras 
mus immediately wrote to his Roman Catholic friends that a 
Frenchman escaped from France was making a great disturbance 
in those regions. 2 

Farel s lessons were not in vain. One of his countrymen writ 
ing to him says, " Everywhere we see men springing up and 
spending their labour and their whole life in doing what they can 
to extend the gospel of Jesus Christ." 3 The friends of the gospel 
blessed the Lord that the Sacred Word was daily shining through 
out Gaul with a brighter lustre. 4 The enemy was alarmed. "The 
faction," 1 wrote Erasmus to the bishop of Rochester, " is every day 
extending more and more, being propagated in Savoy, Lorraine, 
and France." 6 

For some time Lyons seemed to be the centre of the evangelical 
movement within the kingdom, as Basle was beginning to be out 
of it. Francis I, going into the South on a campaign against Charles 
V, had arrived there with his mother, his sister, and his court 
Margaret had with her several individuals devoted to the gospel. 

1 This comparison was made by a friend of Farel during his stay at Montbeliard. 
.... Strenuum et oculatnm itnperatorem, qui iis etiam anirnum facias qui in acie 
versa ntur. (Tossanus Farello, MS. of the Consist. Neuchatel, 2 Sept., 1524.) 

! Tumultuator ct Bnrgundia nobis proxima, per Phallicum quemdam Gallum qni 
e Gallia profugus. (Er. Ep., p. 809.) 3 Suppullnlare qai omnes conatus adferant, 

quo possit Christ! re^num quam latissime patore. (MS. Neuchatel, 2 Au.. 1524.) 

* Quod in Galliis omnibus sacrosanetum r>ei verbum in dies mngis ao magis eluces- 
eat. (Ibid.) p ac ti o cre =cit in dies latius, propagata in Sabaudiam, Lotlioriu 

gium, Franciam. (Er. Ep., p. 809.) 

3 y 


All others she left behind," says a letter of this period. 1 While 
Francis I sent through Lyons 6000 troops, and 1500 lances of 
French nobility, to join 14,000 Swiss, in order to repel the invasion 
of Provence by the imperialists while this great city resounded 
with the noise of arms, the trampling of horses, and the sound 
of trumpets, the friends of the gospel were marching to more peace 
ful conquests. They wished to attempt at Lyons what they had 
been unable to accomplish at Paris. It might be that away from 
the Sorbonne and the Parliament, the word of God would have 
greater freedom. It might be that the second city of the king 
dom was destined to become, with regard to the gospel, the first. 
Was it not here that, nearly four centuries before, worthy Peter 
Waldo began to spread the Divine word? He had at that time 
shaken France. $ow that God had fully prepared the eman 
cipation of his church, might not larger and more decisive success 
be anticipated ? Accordingly the men of Lyons, though it is true 
they were not in general, as in the twelfth century, the " poor," 
began boldly to wield " the sword of the Spirit, which is the word 
of God." 

Among the persons about Margaret was her almoner, Michel 
d Arancle. The Duchess caused the gospel to be publicly preached 
in Lyons. Master Michel preached it loudly and purely to a large 
audience, attracted partly by the interest which the glad tidings 
excited wherever they are published, and partly also by the respect 
in which the preaching and the preacher were held by the beloved 
sister of the king. 2 

Anthony Papillon, a man of very cultivated mind, an elegant 
scholar, a friend of Erasmus, and " the first in France well-learned 
in the gospel," 8 also accompanied the princess. He had at Mar 
garet s request translated Luther s work on monastic vows, "which 
brought him into much trouble with those Parisian vermin," 
says Sebville. 4 But Margaret had protected this learned man 
when attacked by the Sorbonne, and had procured him the office 
of First Master of Bequests to the Dauphin, with a place in the 
Great Council. 6 He aided the gospel not less by his devotedness 
than by his prudence. A merchant named Vaugris, and especially 
a gentleman named Anthony Du Blet, a friend of Farel, were at 
the head of the Reformation in Lyons. The latter, possessed of 
great activity, served as a link to connect the Christians scattered 
over those districts and placed them in communication with 
Basle. While the warriors of Francis I only passed through 

1 De Sebville a Coct, 28 Dec., 1524. (MS. de Neuchatel.) 2 Elle a ung docteur 

appele Maftre Michel Eleymosinarius, leque) ne preche devant elle que purement 
rEvnngile. (Ibid.) She has a doctor called Master Michael, the Almoner, who preaches 
before her only the pure gospel. (Ibid.) 3 Ibid. * Ibid. 5 Ibid. 


Lyons, the spiritual soldiers of Jesus Christ stopped there with 
Margaret. Allowing the former to cany war into Provence and 
the plains of Italy, they began in Lyons itself to fight the battle of 
the gospel. 

But they did not confine themselves to Lyons. They looked all 
around them. The campaign commenced in several quarters at 
once. The Christians of Lyons, by their words and their la 
bours, encouraged all who confessed Christ in the surrounding 
provinces. They did more. They sent and preached it where it 
was not yet known. The new doctrine ascended the Saone, and 
an evangelist trod the rough and narrow streets of Ma9on. Michel 
d Arande himself, almoner to the king s sister, went thither in 1524, 
and, by the aid of Margaret s name, obtained liberty to preach in 
this town, 1 which, at a later period, was to be full of blood, and 
whose leaps were to pass into a by-word. 

After climbing in the direction of the Rhone, the Christians of 
Lyons, ever on the out-look, climbed in the direction of the Alps. 
At Lyons there was a Dominican named Maigret, who had been 
obliged to quit Dauphiny where he had preached the new doctrine 
with decision. He urgently asked that some one should go and 
encourage his brethren of Grenoble and Gap. Papillon and Du 
Blet went. 2 A violent storm had just burst on Sebville and his 
preaching. The Dominicans had moved heaven and earth. Furious 
at seeing so many evangelists, Farel, Anemond, Maigret, escape 
them, they would fain have annihilated those within their reach. 3 
They had accordingly called for the apprehension of Sebville. 4 

The friends of the gospel in Grenoble were in dismay. Must 
Sebville also be taken from them? Margaret interceded with her 
brother. Several of the most distinguished persons of Grenoble, 
among others, the king s advocate, avowed or secret friends of the 
gospel, exerted themselves in behalf of the evangelical cordelier, 
and at length their united efforts rescued him from the fury of his 
enemies. 5 

But if Sebville s life was safe, his mouth was shut. " Be silent," 
he was told, " or the scaffold awaits you." Writing to Anemond 
de Coct, he says, " Silence is imposed upon me under pain of 
death." c These menaces of the enemy alarmed even those of 

1 Arande preaches at Mascon. (Sebville a Coct, MS. of Neuchatel.) 2 There 

were two great personages at Grenoble. (Ibid.) The Title of Messire, given to Du 
Blet, indicates a person of rank. I presume that the term negotiator, which is else 
where given to him, refers to his activity. It is possible, however, he may have been 
wie of the great merchants of Lyons. 3 Conjicere potes ut post Macretum 

et me in Sebivillatn exarserint. (Anemond a Farel, 7 Sept., 351M, MS. NeuchateL) 
You may guess that after Maigret and ie their rage burnt against Sebville. 

* The Thomists wished to proceed against me by inquisition and imprisonment. 
(Letter of Sebville. Ibid.) Had it not been for certair. secret friends, I hail 

been placed in the hands of tho Pharisees. (Ibid.) c Ibid. 


whom the best had been hoped. The king s advocate, and other 
friends of the gospel, now showed nothing but coldness: 1 several 
returned to the Romish ritual, pretending to worship God in the 
secrecy of their heart, and to give the external rites of Catholicism 
a spiritual meaning a sad delusion, which leads from infidelity to 
infidelity. No hypocrisy can thus be justified. The unbeliever 
by means of his system of myths and allegories, will preach 
Christ from the Christian pulpit : and the follower of some abomin 
able superstition among the heathen will be able, with a little in 
tellect, to find in it the symbol of a pure and elevated idea. In 
religion the first thing is truth. Some of the Christians of Gren 
oble, among them Amedeus Galbert, and a cousin of Anemond, 
continued firm in the faith. 2 These pious men met in secret with 
Sebville sometimes at the house of one or other of them, and 
talked together of the gospel. They repaired to some distant re 
treat, or went during the night to the house of a brother. They 
hid themselves to pray to Jesus Christ, as robbers do to commit 
crimes. More than once the humble assembly was disturbed by 
false alarms. The enemy connived at their secret conventicles, 
but they had sworn that the faggot would do justice to whoever 
should dare to discourse publicly of the word of God. 3 

It was in these circumstances that Messires Du Blet and Papillon 
arrived at Grenoble. Seeing that Sebville s mouth was shut, they 
exhorted him to come and preach Christ at Lyons. The Lent of the 
following year was to present a favourable occasion for preaching 
it to a numerous crowd. Michael d Arande, Maigret, and Seb 
ville prepared to fight at the head of the gospel phalanxes. Every 
preparation was thus made for a brilliant manifestation of the truth 
in the second city of France. The rumour of this evangelical Lent 
spread as far as Switzerland. " Sebville is set free, and will preach 
this Lent, at St. Paul s at Lyons," wrote Anemond to FareL 4 
But a great disaster, carrying affliction into every part of France, 
prevented this spiritual combat. It is in peace that the gospel 
makes its conquests. The defeat of Pavia, which took place in the 
month of February, frustrated this bold plan of the Keformers. 

Meanwhile, without waiting for Sebville, Maigret, at Lyons, 
preached salvation by Clarist alone, notwithstanding of the keen 
opposition of priests and monks. 6 In these discourses there was 
no longer any question as to the worship of creatures, the saints, 
the virgin, and the power of the priests. The great mystery of 

i Non solum tepidi sed frieridi. (MS. Neuchatel.) Not only lukewarm, but c<.!<). 

3 Tuo cognate, Amedeo Galberto exceptis. (Ibid.) 3 But to speak it pub 

licly is to court the flames. (Ibid.) * The Saturday of Quatre-Temps., Dec. la-i. 

(Ibid.) 5 In truth Maigret has preached at Lyom in spite of priests and nxmis. 



portliness, "God manifest in the flesh," was alone proclaimed. 
The ancient heresies of the paupers of Lyons, it was said, have 
reappeared in a worse form than ever. Notwithstanding of this op 
position, Maigret continued his ministry. The faith which animated 
his soul expressed itself in powerful language. It is of the nature 
of truth to embolden the heart which has received it. However 
Rome was to prevail at Lyons as at Grenoble. In presence of 
Margaret, Maigret was arrested, dragged along the streets, and 
cast into prison. Vaugris, a merchant, who at this time left the 
town on a journey into Switzerland, spread the news as he passed 
along. They produced astonishment and despondency. One idea, 
however, calmed the fears of the Reformed : " Maigret is seized," 
it was said ; " but Madam d 1 Alengon is tliere, thank GodT ! 

This hope was soon disappointed. The Sorbonne had con 
demned several of the propositions of this faithful minister. 2 Mar 
garet, whose situation was always becoming more difficult, saw at 
once an increase in the hardihood of the friends of the Reformation, 
and in the hatred of its powerful enemies. Francis I began to feel 
impatient at the zeal of the evangelists. He saw in these fanatics 
what he deemed it right to suppress. Margaret, thus suspended 
between her desire of being useful to her brethren, and her inability 
to save them, sent an intimation to them not to throw them 
selves into new dangers, seeing that she would write no more to 
the king in their favour. The friends of the gospel thought that 
tin s resolution was not irrevocable, "God give her grace," said 
they, to say and write only what is necessary to poor souls." 3 But 
if this human resource fails them, Christ remains. It is good for 
the sonl to be left without help in order that it may lean on Christ 

CHAP. xn. 

T5ie French at Basic Encouragement of the Swiss Fear of disunion Transla 
tions and Printing Presses at Basle Bibles and Tracts circulated in France. 

Meantime the efforts of the friends of the gospel were paralysed. 
The great were beginning to be hostile to Christianity. Margaret 
was afraid : dreadful news were about to cross the Alps, and blow 
after blow to throw the kingdom into mourning, leaving only one 
thought to save the king, to save France. But if the Christians 

1 MS. Ncuchatel. = Ofullanl. Hist, de Francois I"- iv, p. 2:53. 3 Pierre 

Toussalnt a Farel. Basle, 17th Dec. 15 J4. (MS. Neuehatel.) 



of Lyons were arrested in their labours, were there not at Basle 
soldiers who had escaped from the battle, and were ready to begin 
anew. The exiles of France have never forgotten her. Driven 
from their country for nearly three centuries by the fanaticism of 
Rome, we see their latest descendants carrying to the towns and 
fields of their fathers the treasures of which the pope deprives them. 
At the moment when the soldiers of Christ in France, in despon 
dency, threw down their arms, the refugees of Basle prepared for 
the combat. Seeing the monarchy of St. Louis and Charlemagne 
tottering in the hands of Francis I, will they not feel called to 
aspire to a kingdom which cannot be moved? 1 1 l 

Farel, Anemond, d Esch, Toussaint, and their friends, formed in 
Switzerland an evangelical society with the view of delivering their 
country from spiritual darkness. Letters were received from all 
quarters informing them that the thirst for the word of God was 
growing in France. 2 It was necessary *o take advantage of this 
to water and sow seed during seed time. OEcolampadius and Os 
wald Myconius ceased not to encourage them in it. They gave 
their hand, and inspired them with their faith. The Swiss school 
master, in January 1525, wrote to the French knight : " Banished 
as you are from your country by the tyranny of antichrist, your very 
presence in the midst of us proves that you have acted with cour 
age in the cause of the gospel. The tyranny of the Christian bishops 
will soon make the people regard them only as liars. Remain firm. 
The time is not distant when we shall enter the haven of rest, whether 
tyrants strike us or be themselves struck, 3 and then all will be well 
with us, provided we be faithful to Jesus Christ." 

These encouragements were precious to the French refugees ; but 
a blow proceeding from these same Christians of Switzerland and 
Germany who sought to strengthen them, tore their hearts to pieces, 
Scarcely escaped from the faggot, they were in dismay when they 
saw the evangelical Christians beyond the Rhine disturbing the re 
pose which they enjoyed by lamentable dissensions. The discussion 
on the Supper had begun. Moved and agitated, feeling strongly 
how much need there was of charity, the French would have given 
every thing to effect a reconciliation between these divided spirits. 
This became their ruling thought. At the period of the Reforma 
tion, none had so much need of Christian unity as they. Of this, at 
a later period, Calvin was a proof. "Would to God," said Peter 
Toussaint, "that I were able, with all my blood, which indeed is not 
worth much, topurchase peace, concord, and union in Jesus Christ." 4 

i Heb. xii, 28. 3 Gallis verborum Dei sitientibus. (Coctus Farello, 2 Sept. 

1524, MS. Neuchatel.) 3 Non longe abest enim, quo in portum tranquillum 

perveniumus. (Osw. Myc. to Anemond de Ccct.Jbid.) * 21st Dec. 1S25. (MS. 



The French, possessed of a clear and ready judgment, immediately 
perceived that this new discussion would arrest the work of the 
Reformation. "Every thing would go on much better than at pre 
sent if we were agreed. There are many people who would wil 
lingly come to the light, but when they see these divisions among 
the clergy, they know not what to do." * 

The French were the first who thought of taking steps for recon 
ciliation. " Why," they wrote to Strasburg, "not send a Bucer, 
or some other learned man, to Luther? The longer we wait, the 
greater the dissension will become." These fears only increased. 2 
At length, seeing their efforts useless, these Christians, in grief, 
turned their eyes away from Germany, and fixed them earnestly 
on France. 

France, the conversion of France, thenceforth exclusively en 
grossed. the heart of these generous men, whom history, which has 
inscribed on her pages the names of so many individuals vainly puffed 
up with their own glory, has not even mentioned. Thrown upon a 
foreign land, they there flung themselves upon their knees, and 
daily, in the solitude of their retreat, invoked God in behalf of the 
land of their fathers. 3 Prayer ! Such was the power by which 
the gospel was spread over the kingdom, and the great instrument 
to which the Reformation owed her conquests. 

But these Frenchmen were not only men of prayer; never did 
an evangelical army number soldiers more ready to devote their 
persons in the hour of battle. They saw the importance of dif 
fusing the Holy Scriptures and pious books in their country, still 
immersed in the darkness of superstition. A spirit of enquiry 
circulated over the whole kingdom ; it was necessary to give it 
wings. Anemond, always prompt in action, and Michael Bentin, 
another refugee, resolved to unite their zeal, their talents, their 
means, and their labours. Bentin wished to establish a printing 
press at Basle, and the knight, in order to turn to profit the little 
that he knew of German, proposed to translate the best works of the 
Reformation into French. In the joy which their project inspired, 
they exclaimed, "Would to God that France were completely 
filled with gospel volumes, so that everywhere in the cottages of 
the poor, and the palaces of the great, in cloisters and presbyteries, 
and in the inner sanctuaiy of the heart, a powerful testimony 
might be borne to Jesus Christ." 4 

i 21st Dec., 1525. (MS. Neucliatel.) * Multis jam Cliristianis Gallis dolet 

quod a Zwinglii alinrumque de Euchnristia sententia, dissentiat Lutherus. (Tosuanus 
Farello, 14th July, 1525.) Many Christians in France are now grieved that Luther 
differs from Zuinglius and others on the subject of the Eucharist. 3 (juam 

sollieite quotidianis precibus commeAdem. (Ibid., 2nd Sept., 1525, Neuchatel.) How 
anxiously I commend them to God in my daily prayers. * Opto enim Galliam 

Evangelicifl voluminibus abundare. (Coctus Farello, MS. Neuchatel.) I would have 
France to abound in gospel volumes. -p 



Such an enterprise required friends, and the refugees had no 
thing. At this time Vaugris was at Basle, and Aneniond, on his 
departure, sent by him a letter to the brethren of Lyons, several of 
whom were rich in worldly goods, and who, though oppressed, 
were always faithful to the gospel. He asked them to send him 
some assistance. 1 But this was not enough. The French wished 
to establish several presses in Basle, which working night and day 
might inundate France with the word of God. 2 At Meaux and 
Metz, and other places besides, were men rich enough and power 
ful enough to aid in this enterprise. No man could address 
Frenchmen with so much authority as Farel. To him, therefore, 
Aneniond turned. 8 

It does not appear that the knight s scheme was realised; but 
the work was done by others. The presses of Basle were con 
stantly employed in printing French books. These were sent to 
Farel, who was unremitting in introducing them into France. 
One of the first productions sent by this Religious Tract Society 
was the Exposition of the Lord s Prayer by Luther. The mer 
chant Vaugris, wrote Farel, " We sell the tract of the Pater at 
four denicrs of Basle, by retail ; but wholesale we sell 200 for two 
florins, which is not so much." 4 

From Basle, Aneniond sent Farel all the useful books which 
appeared there, or arrived from Germany; one of these was a Trea 
tise on the Training of Christian Ministers, and another on the 
Education of .Children. 5 Farel examined these writings. He 
composed, translated, or procured others to translate into French. 
He appeared to be at once all action, and all study. Anemond 
urged on and superintended the press; and these epistles, these 
prayers, these books, all these flying sheets were the means of 
regenerating the age. While dissipation came forth from the 
throne, and darkness from the steps of the altar, these unob 
served writings sent over the nation rays of light and seeds of 

But it was the word of God, above all, that the evangelical 
merchant of Lyons demanded in the name of his countrymen. 
This people of the sixteenth century, hungering for intellectual 
food, were to receive in their own tongue those ancient monuments 
of the first ages of the world, and enhale the new breath of primi 
tive humanity, together with those holy oracles of gospel times in 

i Ut peeunios aliquid ad me mittant. (Coctus Farello MS. Neucliatel.) 2 Ut 

prsela multa erigere possimus. (Ibid.) 3 An censes inveniri posse Lugduni 

Meldse, aut alibi in Guliiis qui uos ad h;ec juvare velint. (Ibid.) * Vaugris a 

Farel; Bale, 29th August, 1524. (MS. Neuehatel.) 6 Mitto tibi librurn de ir- 

stituendis ininistris Ecclesiae cum libro de insdtnendis pueris. (Ibid.) I send you 
book on truiuing ministers of the Chinch with a book on tho training of children. 


which the fulness of the Christian revelation is displayed. Vaugris 
wrote to Farel, " I pray you, if it be possible, to get a translation 
of the New Testament by some man able to make it. It would be 
a great boon to France, Burgundy, and Savoy. And if it was 
necessary to have a French letter (printing types,) I would cause 
it to be procured from Paris or Lyons. If good ones can be got 
at Basle, so much the better." 

Before this time the books of the New Testament in French, but 
in detached parts, had been published by Lefevre at Meaux. 
Vaugris wished that some one would revise the whole, and super 
intend a complete edition. Lefevre undertook the task, and pub 
lished it, as we have already said, on the 12th October, 1524. 
An uncle of Vaugris, named Conrard, a refugee at Basle, imme 
diately procured a copy of it. On the 18th November, Chevalier 
de Coct, at the house of a friend, saw the book, and was overjoyed. 
" Haste and get it reprinted," said he, "for I doubt not that a 
very great number will be disposed of." l 

Thus the word of God was presented to France in opposition to 
the traditions of the Church, which Rome still ceases not to offer 
to her. " How is it possible," asked the Reformers, " to dis 
tinguish between what is human in tradition, and what is divine, 
unless by the Scriptures of God? The sentences of Fathers, the 
decretals of the heads of the Church cannot be the rules of OUT 
faith. They show us what was the opinion of those ancient 
teachers ; but the word alone informs us what is the truth of God. 
We must make every thing submit to Scripture." 

Such was the principal means by which these writings were 
diffused. Farel and his friends entrusted the books to some dealers 
or hawkers, simple and pious men, who, bearing their precious bur 
den, went from town to town, village to village, and house to house, 
in Franche-Comte, Lorraine, Bui-gundy, and the neighbouring pro 
vinces, knocking at every door. These books were given them at a 
low price, " in order that they might feel desirous to sell them." 2 
Thus, as early as 1^24, there was in Basle for the benefit of 
France, a Bible and Religious Tract Hawking Society. It is an 
error to suppose that these take their date from our age. In their 
essential idea they go back not only to the period of the Refor 
mation, but to the first ages of the Church. 

* MS. Neu-hatfl. 2 Vaugris * Far*!. (Ibid.) 



Progress at Montbeliard Opposition and Disturbance Toussaint quits (Ecolainpa- 
dius The day of the Bridge Death of Anemond Successive Defeats. 

The attention which Farel gave to France did not make him 
overlook the places in which he lived. Having arrived at Mont 
beliard, towards the end of July, 1524, he had there scarcely sown 
the seed, than, as CEcolampadius expresses it, the first-fruits of the 
harvest began to appear. Farel, quite delighted, wrote of it to 
this friend. " It is easy," replied the teacher of Basle, " to intro 
duce some dogmas into the ears of the hearers, but to change the 
heart is God s own work." 1 

Chevalier de Coct, delighted with the news, repaired, with his 
ordinary vivacity, to Peter Toussaint. u I set out, to-morrow, on 
a visit to Farel," said he hastily. Toussaint, who was more calm, 
wrote to the evangelist of Montbeliard : " Take care ; the cause 
that you maintain is a great cause; it must not to denied by 
human counsels. The powerful promise you their favour, their 

assistance, mountains of gold But to trust in these 

things is, to desert Jesus Christ and walk in darkness." 2 Tous 
saint was finishing his letter when the Chevalier entered. He 
took it, and set out for Montbeliard. 

He found the whole town in great agitation. Several of the 
great in alarm, and eyeing Farel disdainfully, said, " What does 
this poor wretch mean? Would to God he had never come! He 
cannot remain here, for he would involve us all in his ruin." These 
nobles, who had taken refuge at Montbeliard with the duke, feared 
that the noise which the Reformation everywhere made would draw 
upon them the attention of Charles V, and Ferdinand, who would 
chase them from their last asylum. But Farel met with the 
greatest resistance from the clergy. The guardian of the Francis 
cans of Besamjon had hastened to Montbeliard, and had formed a 
plan of defence with the clergy of the place. On the following 
Sunday, Farel had scarcely begun his sermon when they interrupt 
ed him, calling him a liar, and a heretic. Immediately the whole 
assembly was in a stir. They rose up, and called for silence. The 
duke hastened up, caused both the guardian and Farel to be 
apprehended, and ordered the former either to prove his accusa 
tions, or to retract them. The guardian preferred the latter 

1 Animum autem immutare, divinum opus est. (QScol. Ep., p. 200.) - ... A 

quibus si pendemus, jam a Christo defeciuius. (MS. Neuchatel.) 


alternative, and an official report was published on the whole 
affair. 1 

This attack aroused Farel still more. He thought himself 
thenceforth bound to show no delicacy in unmasking these selfish 
priests ; and drawing the sword of the word, he dealt vigorous 
blows. He Avas more disposed to imitate Jesus, when he drove 
the money-changers from the temple, and overthrew their tables, 
than when the prophetical spirit bore this testimony to him: 
" He shall not strive nor cry, neither shall any one hear his voice in 
the streets" (Ecolampadius was alarmed. In these two men were 
perfect types of two diametrically opposite characters, and yet 
both worthy of admiration. "You have been sent," wrote 
(Ecolampadius to Farel, " to draw men gently to the truth, and 
not to drag them with violence; to bring glad tidings, and not to 
curse. Physicians have recourse to amputation, only when other 
remedies are useless. Conduct yourself as a physician, and not as 
an executioner. I do not hold it enough for you to be mild to 
wards the friends of the word. You must also gain its enemies. 
If the wolves are driven away from the sheepfold, let the sheep at 
least hear the voice of the Shepherd. Pour oil and wine into 
wounds, and conduct yourself as an evangelist, and not as a 
tyrant." 2 

The noise of these doings spread over France and Lorraine, and 
alarm began to be felt in the Sorbonne and by the Cardinal, at 
this union of the refugees in Basle and Montbeliard. It was 
wished to break up an alliance that gave uneasiness; for error 
knows no greater triumph than to win over deserters. Already, 
Martial Mazurier and others had given the Galilean papacy the 
joy produced by shameful defection; but if they could succeed in 
seducing one of these confessors of Christ, who had taken refuge 
on the banks of the Rhine, after having suffered much for the 
name of the Lord, how great a victory to the pontifical hierarchy ! 
She accordingly prepared her batteries, and singled out the young 
est as the object of attack. 

The prhnicier, the Cardinal of Lorraine, and all who belonged 
to the numerous circles which met at the house of this prelate, 
deplored the sad fate of Peter Toussaint, who had given them so 
many hopes. He is at Basle, it was said, in the very house of 
(Ecolampadius, living with one of the leaders of heresy. They 
wrote to him with earnestness, as if his eternal salvation had been 
at stake. These letters tormented the poor young man the more, 

1 Der Christliche Handel zu Mumpelgard, verloffen mit griindlicher Wahrheit. 
Evangelistuui, non tyrannic urn, legislatorem praestes. (Ecol. Ep., p. 2(Xi.) 


that he could not help seeing in them an affection which he valued. 1 
One af his relations, probably the primicier himself, called upon 
him to go to Paris or Metz, or any place he^ pleased, provided it 
was away from the Lutherans. This relative, who was aware of 
all that Tonssnint owed him, did not doubt that he would imme 
diately obey his orders; and hence, when he saw his efforts 
unavailing, his affection was transformed into violent hatred. At 
the same time, this refusal on the part of the young refugee, 
exasperated against him all his family and all his friends. His 
mother, u who was under the power of the Court," 2 was applied 
to. The priests surrounded her, frightened her, and persuaded 
her that her son had done things which could not be spoken of 
without horror. The mother, in despair, wrote her son a touch 
ing letter, as he expresses it, " full of tears," in which, in the 
most heart-rending manner, she depicted to him all her mis 
fortunes. "Ah! wretched mother," said she, "ah! unnatural 
son: cursed be the breast that nursed, and the knees that bore 
you!" 3 

Poor Toussaint was in consternation. What was he to do ? 
Return to France he could not. To quit Basle for Zurich or 
Wittemberg, out of the reach of his family, would have encreased 
their sorrow. OEcolampadius suggested a middle course. "Quit 
my house," said he. 4 He, in fact, did quit OEcolampadius, with a 
heart full of sadness, and went to live with an ignorant and ob 
scure priest, 5 well fitted to restore confidence to his relations. 
What a change for Ttwssaint ! It was only at table he met his 
host. There they ceased not to debate on matters of faith ; but as 
soon as the meal was finished, Toussaint hastened again to shut 
himself up in his chamber, and there alone, free from noise and 
dispute, he carefully studied the word of God. " The Lord is my 
witness, 1 said he, " that in this valley of tears I have only one 
wish, and it is to see the kingdom of Christ extended, so that all 
may with one mouth glorify God. 6 

One circumstance occurred which consoled Toussaint. The 
enemies of the gospel were always becoming stronger in Metz. 
At his urgent request, Chevalier d Esch set out, in the course of 
January, 1525, to strengthen the evangelical Christians of that 
town ; he crossed the forest of the Vosges, and arrived at the 

l Me in dies divexari legendisnmicorum litteris qui me . . . ab institute remorari 
nituntur (Tossaims Farello, 2nd Sept., 1524. (MS. Neuchatel.) I am daily tormented 
hv the letters of my friends wlio are striving to divert me from my purpose. 2 Jam 
capulo proxima. (MS. Neucliatel.) SLitterasad me dedit plenas lacrymis quibus 

maledicit et uberibus quse me lactarunt, etc. (MS. Neuchatel.) * Visum est (Eco- 
lanipadio consultum . . . ut a se secederem. (Ibid.) 5 Utor domo cujusdarn 

sacrificuli. (Ibid.) 6 Ut Christ! regnum quam lutissime puteat. (Ibid.) 


place where Leclerc had yielded up his life, carrying with him 
several books, with which he had been furnished by Farel. 1 

Lorraine was not the only quarter to which the French refugees 
turned their eyes. Chevalier de Coct received a letter from one 
of Farel s brothers, in which the state of Dauphiny was pourtrayed 
in the darkest colours. He took care not to show it, for fear of 
alarming the weak; and contented himself with praying earnestly 
to God, that he would give the assistance of his mighty hand. 3 
In December, 1524, a messenger from Dauphiny, named Peter 
Verrier, charged with commissions for Farel and Anemond, 
arrived on horseback at Montbeliard. The Chevalier, with his 
usual vivacity, resolved to return to France. "If Peter has 
brought money," wrote he to Farel, " take it. If he has brought 
letters to me, open them, take a duplicate, and then send them. 
Nevertheless, don t sell the horse, but return it, for perhaps I may 
want it. I am induced to go secretly into France by the way 
of Jacobus Faber, (Lefevre) and Arandius. Write me your 
opinion." 3 

Such was the confidence between these two refugees ; the one 
opened the letters of the other, and received his money. It is 
true that De Coct owed thirty-six crowns to Farel, whose purse 
was always open to his friends. There was more zeal than pru 
dence in the knight s desire to return to France. He had too 
little prudence not to expose himself to certain death. Of this 
Farel doubtless convinced him. He quitted Basle and returned 
to a small town, where he had " great hopes of having the German 
language, God assisting." 4 

Farel continued to evangelise Montbeliard. His soul was vexed 
within him, when he saw the majority of the inhabitants addicted 
to the worship of images. It was, according to Farel, a renewal 
of the ancient idolatry of Paganism. 

Meanwhile, the exhortations of GEcolampadius, and the fear of 
compromising the truth, might long have restrained him, but for 
an unforeseen circumstance. One day, towards the end of February, 
(it was the feast of St. Anthony) Farel Avas walking near the 
banks of a small stream which crosses the town, beneath the high 
rock on which the citadel stands, when, on arriving at the bridge, 
he met a procession, which was advancing, repeating prayers to 
St. Anthony, and having at its head two priests, with an imago 

1 Let him return to Metz, where the enemies of God are daily rising against the 
gospel. (MS. Neuehatel. 17th Dec., 1524.) 2 Aceepi ante horam a tuo 

epistobim quam hie nulli manifestavi ; tcrrentur enim infirmi. (Coctus Farello, 2n! 
Sept., 152*.) An hour ago I received a letter from your brother, which I have not 
shown to any one, for the wrak ara terrified, 3 Coct a Farel, Dec., 1524. (MS. 

Neuchatel. * Coct a Farel, Jan., I5i 5. (MS.Neuchatel.) 


of the Saint. Farel thus found himself suddenly brought face to 
face with these superstitions without having sought them. A 
violent struggle took place in his soul. Will he give way? Will 
he hide himself? Would not this be cowardly unbelief? These 
dead images, carried on the shoulders of ignorant priests, made his 
blood boil. Farel came boldly forward, seized the holy hermit 
out of the arms of the priests, and threw it from the bridge into 
the river. Then, turning towards the astonished people, he ex 
claimed, "Poor idolaters, will you never leave off your idolatry?" 1 

The priests and the people stood still in amazement. A religious 
dread seemed to chain the multitude. But the stupor soon ceased. 
" The image is drowning," exclaimed one of the crowd, and then 
to stupor and silence^ succeeded, transports and cries of fury. The 
crowd were going to rush on the sacrilegious man, who had thrown 
the object of their adoration into the water. But Farel, we know 
not how, escaped their rage. 2 

There is ground, we are aware, to regret, that the Reformer 
allowed himsslf to be betrayed into this act, which rather arrested 
the progress of the truth. No man should think himself entitled 
violently to attack any proceeding by public authority. Still, in the 
zeal of the Reformer, there is something more noble than that cold 
prudence so common in the world, which recoils before the least 
danger, and fears to make the least sacrifice for the advancement 
of the kingdom of God. Farel was not ignorant that he ran the 
risk of losing his life, like Leclerc. But the testimony of his 
conscience, urging him to seek only the glory of God, took away 
all his fears. 

After the day at the bridge, a characteristic feature in Farel s 
history, the Reformer was obliged to conceal himself, and soon 
after to quit the town. He took refuge in Basle, beside (Ecolam- 
padius; but he always regarded Montbeliard with the affection 
which a servant of God invariably feels for the first-fruits of his 
ministry. 3 

At Basle, sad news awaited Farel. He was a fugitive, and his 
friend Anemond de Coct was seriously ill. Farel immediately 
sent him four gold crowns ; but a letter from Oswald Myconius, of 
25th March, informed him of the knight s death. " Let us live." 
wrote Oswald, " so as to gain the rest, into which we hope that 
the spirit of Anemond has already entered." 4 

1 Revue du Dauphine, torn, ii, p. 88. (MS. of Choupard.) 3 Kirchhofer, in 

his life of Farel, gives this as an uncertain tradition. But it is related by Protestan: 
writers even, and seems to me, in accordance with the character of Farel and the 
fears of (Ecolampadius. We must admit the foibles of the Reformers. 3 Tngens 

affectus, qui me cogit Mumpelgardum amare. (Farelli Ep.) * Quo Ane- 

mundi spiritum jam pervenisse speramus. (Myconius Farello, MS. Neuchatel.) 


Thus Anemond, still young, full of activity, full of strength, 
desirous by every means to evangelise France, qualities which made 
him worth a host, descended to a premature grave. God s ways 
are not our ways. It was not long since, near Zurich, also, another 
knight, Ulric vonHutten, had breathed his last. There are some 
features of resemblance between the German and the French knight, 
but the piety and Christian virtues of the latter place him far above 
the witty and dauntless enemy of priests and monks. 

Shortly after the death of Anemond, Farel, unable to remain at 
Basle, from which he had once been banished, repaired to Stras- 
trarg, to his friends, Capito and JBucer. 

Thus, at Montbeliard and at Basle, as at Lyons, blows were given 
to the Reformation. Among the most devoted combatants some 
were carried off by death, others by persecution or exile. In vain 
did the soldiers of the gospel try all means of assault ; they were 
everywhere repulsed. But if the forces which they had concen 
trated, first at Meaux, then at Lyons, and then at Basle, were 
successively scattered, there still remained here and there com 
batants who, in Lorraine, at/Meaux, at Paris even, struggled more 
or less openly to maintain the word of God in France. If the Refor 
mation saw its masses broken, there still remained isolated soldiers. 
It was against them that the Sorbonne, and the Parliament, were 
going to turn their rage. They wished that on the soil of France 
there should not remain one of the noble men who had undertaken 
to plant the standard of Jesus Christ, and at this time unheard of 
misfortunes seemed to conspire with the enemies of the Reforma 
tion, and lend them a strong hand to finish their work. 


Francis taken at Pavia Reaction against the ReformationLouisa consults the 
Sorbonne Commission against the Heretics Brigonnet denounced Appeal to 
the assembled Parliament Fall Reconciliation Lefevre accused Condem 
nation and flight Lefevre at Strasburg Louis de Berquin incarcerated-Erasmus 
attacked Schuch at Nantz His martyrdom Contest with Caroli Sadness of 
Pavanne His Faggot Pile A Christian hermit Concourse at N6tre-Dame. 

During the latter days of Farel s residence at Montbeliard, great 
events had taken place on the theatre of the world. Lannoy and 
Pescaire, the generals of Charles V, had retreated from France 
on the approach of Francis I, who had passed the Alps, and pro 
ceeded to blockade Pavia. On 24th February, 1525, he was 
attacked by Pescaire. Bonnivet, La Tremouille, La Palisse, and 



Lescure, had been slain near the king. The Duke D Alencon, 
the husband of Margaret, and first prince of the blood, had fled 
with the rear guard, and gone to die of grief and shame at Lyons. 
Francis, thrown from his horse, had surrendered his sword to 
Charles de Lannoy, viceroy of Naples, who received it with bended 
knee. The king of France was the emperor s prisoner. The cap 
tivity of the king seemed the greatest of misfortunes. " Of every 
thing am I stript save human life," wrote the king to his mother. 
But no one felt a deeper grief than Margaret. The glory of her 
country compromised, France without a monarch, and exposed to 
the greatest dangers, her beloved brother the captive of his proud 
enemy, her husband dishonoured and dead .... What woes ! 
But she had a Comforter ; and while, to console her, her brother 
repeated, " All is lost but honour," she could say 

" But Jesus, brother, Jesus, Son of God I" 1 

France, the princes, parliament, and the people, were in conster 
nation. Soon, as in the first centuries of the Church, the calamity 
which had befallen the country was imputed to the Christians, 
and from all quarters fanatical voices demanded blood as a means 
of warding off still greater misfortunes. The moment was favour 
able. It was not enough to have driven the evangelical Christians 
from the strong position which they had taken up. It was neces- 
sary-to take advantage of the general terror to strike when the 
iron was hot ; and to make this opposition, which was becoming 
so formidable to the papacy, a tabula rasa throughout the whole 

At the head of the conspiracy of these clamourers was Beda, 
Duchesne, and Lecouturier. These irreconcilable enemies of the 
gospel flattered themselves that they should easily obtain from the 
public terror the victims who had hitherto been refused them. 
They immediately set every engine at work conversation, 
fanatical sermons, complaints, menaces, defamatory writings, in 
order to stir up the wrath of the realm, and especially of its 
leaders. They threw fire and flames at their opponents, and over 
whelmed them with the most scurrilous abuse. 2 All means were 
good. They picked out some words here and there, left out what 
might have explained the quotation, substituted their own expres 
sions for those of the teacher whom they impugned, and retracted 
or added according as they wished to blacken their adversaries.* 
This is the testimony of Erasmus himself. 

1 Les Marguerites de la Marguerite, p. i, p. 29. 2 pi us quam scurrilibus c<m. 

viciis debacchantes .... (Eras. Francisco Regi, p. 1108.) 3 Iro 11 eis verbi* 

supponit sua, prsetermittit, addit .... (Ibid., p. 887.) 


Nothing excited tlicir rage so much as the fundamental doctrine 
of Christianity and of the Reformation Salvation by grace. 
"While I see," said Beda, "three men, otherwise possessed of 
such penetrating genius, Lefevre, Erasmus, and Luther, uniting in a 
conspiracy against works of merit, and laying the whole weight of 
salvation on faith only, 1 I am no longer astonished that thousands 
of men, seduced b} r these doctrines, come and say, Why should I 
fast and make a martyr of my body V Let us banish from France 
this odious doctrine of grace. There is in this neglect of merit a 
fatal delusion of the devil." 

Thus the s} ndic of the Sorbonne attempted to combat faith. 
lie was to find support in a debauched court, and another portion 
of the nation more respectable, but not less opposed to the gospel, 
I mean those grave men of strict morals, who, given up to the 
study of the law and legal forms, see in Christianity only a system 
of legislation in the church, only a moral police, and who, unable 
to reconcile the doctrine of the spiritual incapacit} r of man, the 
new birth, and justification by faith, with their engrossing ideas of 
jurisprudence, regard them as fantastic imaginations, dangerous to 
the public morals, and the prosperity of the state. This hostile 
tendency to the doctrine of grace was manifested In the sixteenth 
century by two very different extremes : in Italy and Poland by 
the dogmas of Socinus, of an illustrious family of lawyers in Sienna, 
and in France by the persecuting decrees and faggot piles of the 

Parliament, in fact, despising the great truths of the gospel 
which the Reformers announced, and thinking themselves obliged 
to do something in the fearful calamity which had befallen the 
nation, addressed a strong remonstrance to Louisa of Savoy on the 
conduct of the government in regard to the new doctrine. " Heresy," 
it said, " has raised its head in the midst of us; and the king, by 
not causing scaffolds to be erected for it, has brought down on 
the kingdom the wrath of heaven." 

At the same time the pulpits resounded with complaints, me 
naces, and maledictions ; prompt and exemplary punishment was 
demanded. Martial Mazurier held a distinguished place among the 
preachers of Paris, and seeking, by his violence, to make his oid 
connections with the adherents of the Reformation to be forgotten, 
declaimed against the " hidden disciples of Luther. "Know you," 
exclaimed he, "the rapidity of this poison ? Know you its strength? 
Ah ! let us tremble for France ! It acts with inconceivable energy ; 
and in a short time can put thousands of souls to death." 2 

1 Cum itaque cerneram tres istos .... uiio animoin opera meritoria conspirasse. 
(Natalia BecL-c Apologia atlversus clandestine* Lutherano?, t l. 41.) y Mazurius 

contra occultos Lutheri discipulos declamat, ac receutis veneni celeritatem vimquo 
fleimnciat (Lunuoi, re^ii Nuvarne gvn.muii liistoria, p. 621.) 


It was not difficult to excite the regent against the adherents of 
the Reformation. Her daughter Margaret, the great personages of 
the court, Louisa of Savoy herself, Louisa, always so devoted to 
the Roman pontiff were denounced by certain fanatics as favour 
ing Lefevre, Berquin, and other innovators ? Had she not read 
their tracts and translations of the Bible? The queen mother 
wished to clear herself of these insulting suspicions. She had 
already sent her confessor to the Sorbonne to ask by what means 
heresy might be extirpated. "The detestable doctrine of Luther," 
she had caused be said to the faculty, "is every day gaining 
new adherents." The faculty had smiled on receiving this message. 
Previously their representations had -been refused to be listened 
to, and now they, were humbly begged to call a council on the 
affair. At length they had in their power that heresy which they 
had long been desirous to stifle. Noel Beda was appointed to 
reply to the regent. The fanatical syndic did so. " Since the ser 
mons, discussions, and books, in which we have so often opposed this 
heresy, have not had the effect of arresting it, an ordinance should 
be passed prohibiting all the writings of the heretics. Force and 
constraint must be employed against the person even of these false 
teachers. Those who resist the light must be subdued to it by 
punishment and terror.^ 

Louisa had not even waited for their answer. Scarcely had 
Francis I fallen into the hands of Charles V, than she had written 
to the pope to ask his pleasure in regard to heretics. It was of 
importance to the politics of Louisa to secure the favour of a pon 
tiff who was able to raise Italy against the conqueror of Pavia, and 
she was ready to purchase it at the price of a little French blood. 
The pope, delighted at being able to exercise severity, in the king 
dom of his most Christian majesty, against a heresy which he was 
unable to arrest either in Switzerland or Germany, immediately 
ordained that the inquisition should be introduced into France, and 
addressed a brief to the Parliament. At the same time Duprat, whom 
the pontiff had made a cardinal, and to whom he had given the 
archbishopric of Sens, and a rich abbey, sought to return the favour 
of the court of Rome by displaying indefatigable hatred against the 
heretics. Thus the pope, the regent, the doctors of the Sorbonne. 
the parliament, the chancellor, the ignorant and fanatical portion 
of the nation, all together and at once, conspired the ruin of tb 
gospel and the death of its confessors. 

The Parliament took the lead. Nothing less than the first body 
in the kingdom was required to carry on the campaign against thb 
doctrine. Besides, as the public safety was concerned, was it not 

1 Hi stoke de L Universite, par Crevier, v,p. 196. 


their business? The Parliament, then, carried away by holy zeal 
and fervour against these innovators, 1 issued a decree, ordaining 
" that the bishop of Paris, and other bishops, should be held bound 
to lend their assistance to Messieurs Philip Pot, President of Re 
quests, and Andrew Verjus, Counsellor, and Messieurs William 
Duchesne and Nicolas Leclerc, Doctors in Theology, in framing 
and conducting the process against such as should be found infect 
ed with the doctrine of Luther." 

" And in order that it might appear that these commissaries were 
more under the authority of the Christian church than the Parlia 
ment, his Holiness was pleased to send his Brief, (20th May, 1525,) 
approving of the said named commissioners." 

" Following upon this, all who were declared Lutherans by the 
bishops or judges of the Church, deputed to this effect, were given 
over to the secular arm, that is to say, to the said Parliament, 
which therefor condemned them to be burnt alive." 2 So says a 
manuscript of the period. 

Such was the dreadful inquest appointed during the captivity of 
Francis I, against the evangelical Christians of France, for the sake 
of public safety. It was composed of two laymen, and two eccle 
siastics. One of the latter was Duchesne, next to Beda, the most 
fanatical doctor in the company. Shame had not allowed them to 
put their leader upon it, but his influence was thus only better 

Thus the machine was wound up : its springs were in good 
order, and every blow which it struck would be mortal. The ques 
tion was, against whom should the first attack be directed ? Beda, 
Duchesne, Leclerc, assisted by Philip Pot, president, and Andrew 
Verjus, counsellor, deliberated on this important question. Was 
there not the Count of Montbrun, the old friend of Louis XII, the 
ex-ambassador to Rome, Briconnet, bishop of Meaux ? The Com 
mittee of public safety met at Paris, in 1525, thought that by be 
ginning with a man of his high rank, they would be sure to spread 
terror over the kingdom. This reason was sufficient, and this 
venerable bishop was served with a charge. 

Far from allowing himself to be intimidated by the persecution 
of 1523, Briconnet had persisted, as well as Lefevre, in opposing 
the popular superstitions. The more eminent his place in the 
Church and in the State, the more fatal his example, and there 
fore the more necessary to obtain from him a striking recantation, 
or inflict a blow more striking still. The committee of inquest 

1 I)e la Religion Chretienne en France, par de Lezeau. MS. Bibliotheqne St. Gene- 
vieve a Paris. 2 The Manuscript of the Library of St Genevieve at Paris, from 

which I have taken this fragment, bears the name of Lezeau, but in the catalogue it 
bears that of Lefevre. 


hastened to collect the charges against him. They stated the 
kind reception which the bishop had given to heretics that eight 
days after the guardian of the Cordeliers had preached at Meaux in 
the church of St. Martin, conformably to the instructions of the 
Sorbonne, to reestablish sound doctrine, Bi^onnet himself had 
mounted the pulpit, had replied to him, and treated the preacher 
and the other cordeliers, his colleagues, as false prophets and 
hypocrites. Not content with this public affront, he had made 
his official prepare a charge, summoning the guardian to ap 
pear in person. 1 .... It would even appear from a manu 
script of the time, that the bishop had gone still farther, and that 
in the autumn of 1524, accompanied by Lefevre of Staples, he 
had travelled, during three months, over his diocese, and burnt 
all the images except the crucifix. This bold procedure, which 
would show that Bri^onnet combined great hardihood with much 
humility, cannot, if it is true, subject him to the blame attached 
to other destroyers of images. When he reformed these supersti 
tions, he was at the head of the Church, and acted within the 
sphere of his rights and duties. 2 

Be this as it may, Bri^onnet was to have guilt enough in the 
eyes of the enemies of the gospel. He had not only attacked the 
Church in general, he had attacked the Sorbonne itself, that com 
pany whose supreme law was its own glory and preservative. Ac 
cordingly it was delighted on hearing of the inquest directed against 
its enemy. John Bochart, one of the most celebrated advocates of 
the time supporting the charge against Briconnet before the Parlia 
ment, exclaimed, raising his voice " Against the Faculty, neither 
bishop of Meaux, nor any other individual, can raise the head or 
open the mouth. Neither is the Faculty under any obligation to 
go and dispute, to carry and state its reasons before the said 
bishop, who must not resist the wisdom of this holy company, 
which he must consider to be aided by God." 3 

In consequence of this requisition, the Parliament, on the 3rd 
Oct., 1525, issued a decree in which, after ordering the personal 
apprehension of all those who were specified, it ordained that the 
bishop should be interrogated by James Menager and Andrew 

1 Hist, de L Universite, par Crevier, v. p. .04. 2 In the library of the pas 

tors of Neuchatel there is a letter of Sebville containing the following passage : " I 
notify to you that the bishop of Meaux, in Brie, near Fans, cum Jacobo f abro stapu- 
lenfi, three months ago in visiting the bishopric, burnt ac tu all the images except the 
crucifix, and are personally summoned to Paris, the month of March next, to answer 
eoram, supremo, curia, et universitate" I am rather inclined to think this fact authen 
tic, though Sebville was not on the spot, and neither Mezeray, Daniel, norMaimbourg, : 
speaks of it. These Roman Catholics, who are very brief, might, besides, have mo 
tives for passing it in silence, considering the issue of the process. Besides, SebvSIie s 
statement agrees with all the facts known to us. The matter is doubtful 

3 Crevier Hist, de L Universitate, r, p. 201. 



Vcijus, counsellors of the court, on the facts with which he was 
charged. l 

This decree of the Parliament terrified the bishop. Briconaet, 
ambassador at Borne to two kings Bi^onnet a bishop and prince, 
the friend of Louis XII and Francis I, about to be subjected to 
the interrogatives of two counsellors of the court .... He who 
had hoped that God would kindle in the heart of the king, his 
mother, and his sister, a flame which would communicate itself to 
nil the kingdom, saw the kingdom turning against himself, in order 
to extinguish the flame which he had received from heaven. The 
king is a prisoner, his mother is moving at the head of the enemies 
of the gospel, and Margaret, dismayed at the disasters which have 
fallen on France, dares not turn aside the blows which are going to 
strike her dearest friends, and first of all that spiritual father who 
has so often consoled her; or if she dares, she has not the power. 
Recently she had written Bric^onnet a letter full of pious ejacula 
tions " Oh may the poor dead heart feel some spark of the love 
in which it longs to burn to ashes !" 2 Now there was literally a 
question of being burnt to ashes. This mystic language was now 
out of place. He who would confess his faith, must brave the 
scaiFold. The poor bishop, who had hoped so much to see an 
evangelical Reformation spread gradually, and peacefully, was in 
fear and trembling when he saw that it must now be purchased at 
the expence of life. The dreadful thought, perhaps, had never be 
fore occurred to him, and he started back in anguish and dismay. 

Bri9onnet, however, had still a hope tfcat he would be permitted 
to appear before the assembled Chambers of Parliament, this be 
ing due to a personage of his rank, and in that august and numerous 
court he would find (he was sure of it) generous hearts, who would 
understand his language, and undertake his defence. He accord 
ingly petitioned the court to grant him this indulgence. But his 
enemies had likewise foreseen what the issue of such an audience 
might be. Had not Luther been seen at Worms before the Germanic 
Diet, shaking the most resolute hearts? Eager to keep away every 
chance of escape, they did their work so well, that the Parliament, 
by a decree of the 25th Oct., 1525, confirming the former one, re 
fused Briconnet s application. 8 

Here, then, was the bishop of Meaux sent away, like the most 
obscure priest, before Masters James Menager and Andrew Veijus. 
These two lawyers, docile instruments of the Sorbonne, could not 
be moved by the elevated views to which the whole chamber 
might have been sensible. They were matter of fact men. Has 

1 Maimbourg Hist, du Calvinisms, p. 14. 2 jvig. Biblioth. Roy ale, S. i>, 

No. 837. 3 Maixnbourg Hist, du Calv. p. 15. 



the bishop been, or has he not been, at variance with the Company ? 
This was all they asked. Bi^onnet s condemnation was therefore 

While the sword was thus suspended by the Parliament over the 
head of the bishop, the monks, priests, and doctors, were not losing 
their time. They perceived that a recantation by Bi^onnet would 
serve their purpose better even than his execution. His death 
would inflame all those who shared his faith: but his apostacy 
would be a very great discouragement. To work, then ! He was 
visited and urged. Martial Mazurier in particular laboured to 
make him fall, as he had fallen himself, and he was not without 
arguments which might seem specious to Briconnet. Was he 
willing to leave his place ? Might he not, by remaining in the 
Church, use his inluence over the king and the Court, to do good of 
which it was impossible to foresee the extent? What would become 
of his old friends, when he was no longer in power ? How much 
might his resistance compromise a reform which, in order to 
be salutary and durable, must operate by the legitimate influence 
of the clergy ! How many would be shocked by his resistance to 
the Church, how many, on the contrary, should he attract by yield 
ing ! . . . There was a wish like his own for reform. Everything 
was insensibly leading to it. At court, in the city, in the provinces, 
everywhere, there was an advance. Could he feel glad at heart 
while annihilating this fair prospect ! .... In reality he was not 
asked for any sacrifice of doctrine, but only to submit to the order 
established in the Church. Was it well, when France was over 
whelmed with so many disasters, to stir up new troubles? "In 
the name of religion, in the name of your country, in the name of 
your friends, in the name of the Keformation itself yield." By 
such sophisms, t